Club spotlight: DECA offers unique opportunities for students at North


Photo by Olivia Molter

Matt Robbins throws out candy during the Homecoming pep rally while helping to promote and present the DECA banner. DECA is a club for people interested in the business world and leadership.

Olivia Molter, Contributer/Writer

If you have an interest in business, marketing, taking on leadership roles, and applying  your creativity to real world situations, then DECA is the club for you.

For the past 20 years DECA has been offering students here at Appleton North a unique opportunity to get involved in the ever-growing world of business and marketing. DECA is the Association of Marketing Students, an international organization with the goal of preparing student leaders for careers in their desired fields.

With humble beginnings 69 years ago in Reston Virginia, DECA is now in 14 countries and is 215,000 members strong. 12,000 of those members come from high schools in Wisconsin. With Mrs. Dechant as the adviser for DECA at Appleton North, the club has been giving students a chance to build professionalism and learn about engaging career options since the school opened in 1995. “It’s an amazing organization for students that think they want to enter into the world of business and marketing,” Mrs. Dechant said.

See what DECA club members have to say about the Willems Student Marketing Team:

DECA offers students exciting chances to get involved in our community. Every year students are given the ability to organize outreach programs here in Appleton. The students create, build and implement programs that they have interests in. Within the next few months students in DECA will be involved in STRIKE, a project promoting safe driving among teens, as well as a project creating awareness towards local veterans. Being involved in putting on these events are both an extremely rewarding experience for any student, and make our community a better place. Not only is DECA very involved in our community, but they give students opportunities to build professionalism through chances to be involved in advantageous job shadows, internships and mentorships with local businesses.

Another very important part of DECA is the unique competitions. Students go to a competition and are given a business-related situation, they are then given prep time to prepare and decide how they would handle the situation in the real world. After prep, students go in front of one judge and communicate how they would solve the problem. The first DECA competition this year is the district event in January. These competitions offer rewarding experiences that help students prepare for the professional world and also provides the chance to improve critical thinking and public speaking skills.

This April, DECA will also be taking 24 students the chance to visit New York City for 6 days. The trip is focused on careers in the fashion and marketing industries. The students who go will be touring and talking to the heads of various companies in the city that focus on these industries. Students will get to attend two Broadway shows and one off-Broadway show. In addition, students will also get a behind-the-scenes look at many famous locations such as Madison Square Gardens, Radio City Music Hall, NBC Studios, Central Park, The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The trip also includes a historic guided tour of the city. “It’s a jam packed opportunity for young people to discover more of the world of fashion and marketing in a large city,” said Mrs. Dechant, who is thoroughly enthusiastic about the upcoming trip and the opportunities that it offers.  

Mrs. Dechant said one of the best parts about being in DECA is the opportunity to create lasting relationships. “The students that I get to engage with, they are creative, thoughtful, understanding, want to make a difference; they are professional. Surrounding myself with students like that makes being a marketing teacher and adviser a really rewarding career.”

She’s not the only one who feels passionate about this club and the people involved. “DECA is one of the best groups that I have ever been part of,” said Appleton North Sophomore Will Hansen. “The club doesn’t feel like a club, it feels like a second family. You get so many opportunities to meet new people and expand your horizons beyond your daily life. Between traveling to competitions in different states and even doing community service close to home, it’s all one amazing opportunity. And if you’re not in DECA what the hecka?” he jokingly added, referencing their homecoming banner from last year. 

It’s not too late to get involved in DECA. If you are interested in joining you can come to a DECA meeting, which is held on the first Tuesday of every month. You can also visit the club’s blog: or the official DECA website: In addition,  you can get in contact with Mrs. Dechant or Rachel Brosman through e-mail or in person.