At this month’s chamber luncheon, members were treated to an update on Deer Park High School’s (DPHS) highly successful DECA program. DECA is part of the DPHS’s Career and Technical Education (CRE) curriculum. DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management.

The presentation began with an overview and history of DECA by DECA Program Advsor Tiffany Bogle. Tiffany explained that the DECA program involves competition (local, regional, statewide and international), community involvement, and practical business experience.  In all aspects, the local DECA program has been highly successful.  Tiffany then introduced DECA members Shawn Lewis, Sarah Curtis and Zandy Halfhide who spoke about their experiences in DECA and how being part of this great organization has influenced their lives.

DECA speakers (left front clockwise) Sarah Curtis, Zandy Halfhide, Shawn Lewis and DECA Advisor Tiffany Bogle

At DPHS, DECA has grown from 18 members to 60 members, making it the largest club on campus. The program runs two self-sustaining businesses: Jitter-Bucks (specialty coffee shop) and Stag Prints (custom apparel and accessory shop). Unlike sports and other programs, the entire DECA program is student funded. The student stores, fundraising efforts, scholarships, and student co-pays fund all expenditures the program incurs including travel, lodging, competition fees, etc. Last year DECA’s operating expenses totaled $27,000.

Zandy Halfhide talks about her DECA experiences. Sarah Curtis and Shawn Lewis look on.

Today’s luncheon program is part of your Chamber’s continuing effort to build a lasting, productive relationship with DECA. We also want local business owners, political leaders, and community members to learn about DECA and get more involved and support the program and its talented members.

Today’s meeting was also the last Chamber luncheon for 2017-18 Miss Deer Park Shari Joralemon and Princess Amanda Williams. During the year the Miss Deer Park Royalty attend chamber luncheon meetings and provide their assistance and support at special events. Thank you Shari and Amanda!

2017-2018 Miss Deer Park Royalty Princess Amanda Johnson (L) and Miss Deer Park Shari Joralemon (R) share some special time with their devoted chaperone Leilani Bly.

Today’s luncheon was hosted by Deer Park’s First Street Bar and Grill.

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