Fishers High School DECA students named state champions


By Chris Bavender 

Members of Fishers High School’s DECA, which stands for Distributive Education Clubs of America), were recognized as state champions for the Indiana DECA program and represented the state at the April 23-26 International Career Development Conference in Atlanta.

Philip Schmidt

“Our success at SCDC was very meaningful. We are so proud of the work of our students. State champions is a tremendous achievement for our students and our chapter as a whole,” said Philip Schmidt, the schools DECA advisor. “We are equally proud of those who competed at SCDC, regardless of where they placed. To put themselves out there and compete in a competitive business environment is a wonderful testament to our students.”

Five students were named state champions in four events, and five students placed first in the Virtual Business Challenge. Ten students will compete at the international event.

“We had 14 qualify and 10 were able to attend,” Schmidt said. “Katie Bott actually qualified in three different events but is choosing to compete only in the Virtual Business Challenge.”

DECA is focused on leadership and preparing students for their future in business or any career. DECA competitions include role plays, case studies, written projects, virtual business challenges and a stock market game to provide students with opportunities to learn and grew as responsible young adults.

Fishers DECA has 95 members. Membership has grown from 13 in 2019, to 55 in 2020 and 95 in 2021-22. 

“We were recognized as Indiana’s fastest-growing chapter in 2020-2021 and received recognition from DECA for the membership campaign achievement in 2020 and 2021,” Schmidt said. “Membership is open to all Fishers High School students. Many of our members come from our business classes, but others join for a variety of reasons.”

Bott, who also is the Fishers DECA vice president of marketing, said she joined DECA to prepare for her future career. 

“Over the past two years, I have participated in virtual business challenges, written papers and presented to judges. I have learned leadership and presentation skills that I will carry into the future,” Bott said. “DECA has helped me to explore my strengths and weaknesses, and my advisors have helped me to grow in my knowledge of opportunities in the business world.”

FHS sophomore Vani Sharma joined DECA this year.

“As someone who wants to go into the business field, I feel that by presenting real-life situations and atmospheres, it allows students to be able to get a taste of the business world and what to expect,” Sharma said. “So, for me, doing role plays during the DECA competitions and attending leadership conferences has helped me to understand more about situations and problems to combat in the business field. It has also equipped me with the communication and presentation skills that I will need to be successful in the business field.”