Video by Kara Allison
There are dozens of clubs and organizations at Coppell High School. They range from the Ukulele club to the Spanish Honor Society. Each club brings something special to the table, and with business majors being among the most popular, Coppell’s DECA organization allows students to get a head start on learning the ropes of business and management.
“DECA is a student association for stu
dents in the marketing class. They learn everything from pricing to public relations, market research and opening businesses,” DECA sponsor Brandi LeBlanc said.
In America’s growing economy, there is always a need for emerging leaders in the fields of marketing, hospitality, management and finance. That is why the Distributed Educational Clubs of America, or DECA organization at Coppell High School, strives to prepare students to enter these fields through competition and scholarships.
“Competition is a way for students to demonstrate their skills. Sports and entertainment are probably our strongest categories here. There are also a lot of students here interested in apparel and fashion,” LeBlanc said. “For competition, they basically take a test over marketing concepts and they present their solution to a judge. Some of the students do research projects, some do advertising campaigns.”
Members also have the opportunity to meet other students from around the country and develop new connections. It is an organization with a very precise application to what is sometimes referred to as “the real world”. The skills learned can not only be applied to events within the club, but to college and future careers as well.
“We learn about how the world economically functions,” junior Hannah Rucker said.
Senior Cody Blake, the DECA president, is one member who has had the unique experience of traveling to the national competition.
“I got to meet people from all across the nation,” Blake said.
However, building professionals and future leaders is not the organizations only purpose.
“DECA also does things for the community, like we hosted a family for Christmas,” junior Cydne LeBlanc said.
LeBlanc is very enthusiastic about DECA’s benevolent side as well.
“We are involved with the community and local agencies. It is important for us to give back to the community,” LeBlanc said.
Here at CHS, the club has made its mark in part from the popcorn sales, which took place in December. During the weeks before winter break, it was common to see DECA members prowling the halls and classrooms, popcorn bags in tow.
“We have the popcorn sales to raise money for competition,” Blake said.
DECA was founded in 1956, and has been operating for more than 60 years. What started out as an organization of a few hundred students spread out over 17 states has grown into a massive and successful organization that has made its mark in all over the world. Since it’s beginning, it has affected millions of students, teachers, and sponsors.
“One third of students major in business. It’s a vital part of the economy because everyone is a consumer,” LeBlanc said.
Mrs. LeBlanc has been teaching marketing for sixteen years now, and is currently teaching her fifth year at Coppell High School.
“My degree is in marketing. I was working in the business world. I was mentoring teens at the time and there was an opening for a marketing teacher and I took the job,” LeBlanc said.
As well as great benefits for members, DECA aims to aid the local community as the organization ventures to bring out the leadership qualities in all participants.