BHS Students earn top honors at international DECA Conference

Blacksburg High School student Natalie Barnette earned high honors at the international DECA conference in Anaheim, California held April 25-30.

Two Blacksburg High School DECA chapter members earned high honors at DECA’s annual International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Anaheim, California April 25-30.

Students receiving recognition at the international level were:

  • Natalie Barnette: overall – Business Services Marketing, top 10 in the nation
  • Chris Marks: test – Sports & Entertainment Team Decision-Making, top 20 in the nation

Marks, a BHS junior, competed with over 200 teams in the Sports & Entertainment Team Decision-Making Event category at ICDC. He was tasked with completing a test on overall marketing knowledge in the Marketing cluster. An ICDC champion last year, Marks was thrilled to make the stage again. “I was so excited to go compete again at the international level,” Marks says. “There are so many great competitors here and I feel very blessed to be recognized.”

Barnette competed in the Business Services Marketing category which focuses on entrepreneurship and business management.

“This was a great opportunity and I’m really grateful that I got a chance to participate,” said Barnette.

She was judged on her knowledge of promotion, operational and economic performance indicators as well as 21st Century skills. “Seeing all of that hard work pay off in the end was one of the best feelings in the world, and I was glad I got to experience that at ICDC.”

BHS DECA had 16 students representing its chapter.

“I’m so proud of my kids and how they represented Blacksburg and the State of Virginia conference featuring over 19,000 high school students from all over the world,” Advisor Kim Radford said. “This is such an excellent real-world opportunity for our students to put their skill sets to work. I’m such a believer in the overall experience my students obtain from competition and travel. They also have an amazing opportunity to network with peers, college recruiters and potential future employers.”

“However, none of this can happen without the support of our community,” Radford notes. “Our business sponsors were the main reason these kids were able to travel and compete in California.” BHS DECA would like to thank the following for their financial support: MCPS, BHS, Blacksburg Junior Assembly, Securitec Screening Solutions, CMG Leasing, Oasis World Market, Foxguard Solutions, Red Sun Farms, New River Dermatology, First Community Bank, Community Housing Partners Corporation, First Bank & Trust, The Hill Companies, Michael B. Cooke, The Artful Lawyer, The Creekmore Law Firm, The Mitchell Law Firm, Dennis Vaughn DDS, Valley Paint, Subway, St. John Neumann Academy, Blacksburg Pharmacy, NRV Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Legacy Builders, Blacksburg Eye Associates, Kroger and Scott & Stringfellow.

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