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Dominating state competition, NNHS team now headed to nationals

The Norman Board of Education and NPS Superintendent Dr. Joe Siano this week heaped praise on the Norman North DECA program, which in three days is heading to the national competition after dominating a recent state convention for the second consecutive year in a row and for two of its students being elected to state office.

DECA, which stands for Distributive Education Clubs of America, is an international marketing and business education program for high school and college-aged students. Through instruction and competition at the high school and collegiate levels, it prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management

NNHS DECA adviser Jamie Wilson said when the final awards were tallied this year at the state convention, NNHS has won a record 54 awards (see list below) and two of its own, juniors Eva Sparks and Payal Patel, respectively, were elected both President and Vice President of Oklahoma DECA. He said the 54 awards were the highest of any team competing at Oklahoma DECA and that NNHS brought more competitors to the competition than any other high school in Oklahoma, as well.

"I couldn't be more pleased with the students' hard work preparing for and competing in this competition," Wilson said. "We had such success at the convention last year that I didn’t know if we could top it, and we did. And, with Eva and Payal deservedly being elected to Oklahoma DECA’s highest two offices, I have confidence Norman North will continue to be seen as the state leader in DECA. The students' work this year is phenomenal."

The NNHS competitors who earned awards at the state convention now move on to the national competition, to be held April 25-28 in Orlando. Wilson said the team has been working hard to prepare, as well as marketing NNHS Unity shirts, less as a team fundraiser and more as a statement of culture of NNHS.

“The students came up with the idea of the shirt by seeing the differences at OU and how they wanted to become unified as a class and embrace their differences as individuals,” Wilson said. “At Norman North, we want the public to see that we also embrace diversity and putting that commitment on a shirt for our students and the public to wear is just one outward symbol of this sincere commitment.”

The shirts are being sold for $20 and can be purchased from either a NNHS DECA member or at the NNHS office.

Of the ‘Unity’ effort, NNHS Principal Peter Liesenfeld said the students demonstrate a real dedication to creating a student culture that embraces diversity and respect.

“It is something I see from them on a daily basis, and the UNITY T-shirt serves as an outward symbol of the values our students exhibit at school and in the community,” he said, adding “I could not be more proud of them.

He also praised Wilson for bringing the NNHS DECA program to state dominance. He told Siano and the Board of Education at their April 20 meeting that he attended the Oklahoma DECA competition and was able to watch Wilson in action and the great rapport and respect his team has for him.

“He is going to probably be upset that I’m sharing this, but I think it shows how special he is as a teacher and coach…when those awards were being announced at the state competition and it became obvious that Norman North DECA was again triumphant, (Wilson) was crying just as a proud papa would. His passion for teaching and his dedication to this team, and the team’s dedication to him, is extraordinary.”

The winning NNHS competitors at the Oklahoma DECA convention (and those traveling now to the national competition in Orlando) and their categories are:

• 1st Place Winners

Cameron Anderson, Accounting Applications

Rutvick Velaga, Business Finance Series

Rachel Custer, Business Services Marketing

Alexis Campbell, Entrepreneurship Innovation Plan

Shelby Davis, Entrepreneurship Innovation Plan

Maddy Dennison, Entrepreneurship Innovation Plan

Olivia Boyer, Finance Operations Research

Allison Nicks, Finance Operations Research

Brock Wright, Finance Operations Research

Eva Sparks, Hotel & Lodging Management Series

Isabella Beevers, Human Resources Series

Meredith Rasnic, Marketing Management Series

Ty Butler, Principles of Hospitality & Tourism

Bree Newman, Quick Serve Restaurant Management Series

Brittley Base, Restaurant & Food Service management Series

Tommy Anglin, Retail Merchandising Management Series

Silvia Kraft, Sports & Entertainment Team Decision Making

Jaycie Melton, Sports & Entertainment Team Decision Making


• 2nd Place Winners

Venise Hawkins, Apparel & Accessories Marketing

Brandon Bray, Automotive Services Marketing

Don Duechting, Business Finance Marketing

Payal Patel, Hospitality & Tourism Operations Research

Braxton Byrd, Principles of Finance

Noah Vansell, Sports & Entertainment Marketing Series

Madi Marr, Travel & Tourism Team Decision Making

Caroline Phillips, Travel & Tourism Team Decision Making


• 3rd Place Winners

Jessica Weinand, Accounting Applications

Bailey Thompson, Community Service Project

Dani Gregory, Community Service Project

Mollee Dingler, Fashion Merchandising Promotion Plan

Hannah Hill, Fashion Merchandising Promotion Plan

Megan Todd, Retail Merchandising Series


• Top 5 Finalist Medal Award Winners

Ethan Lujan, Accounting Applications

Presley Rhea, Business Law & Ethics Team Decision Making

Erica Duechting, Business Law & Ethics Team Decision Making

Sara Bailey, Buying & Merchandising Operations Research

Alexandra Mitchell, Buying & Merchandising Operations Research

Reagan Peoples, Community Service Project

Mackenzie Matthews, Community Service Project

Maris Howard, Community Service Project

Alan Lemmon, Food Marketing Series

Abby Cullins, Hospitality Services Team Decision Making

Laura Lemmon, Hospitality Services Team Decision Making

Ashley Wingate, Learn & Earn Project

Macy Farris, Learn & Earn Project

Imra Maududi, Marketing Management Series

Madison Morren, Marketing Communications Team Decision Making

Avery Hassen, Marketing Communications Team Decision Making

Ronita Nuqui, Principles of Marketing

Bodhi Dalrymple, Retail Merchandising & Marketing

Luke Cape, Sports & Entertainment Promotion Plan

Savanna Erickson, Sports & Entertainment Promotion Plan

Parker Milligan, Sports & Entertainment Team Decision Making

Dakota Hall-McKenzie, Sports & Entertainment Team Decision Making