Archive for Thursday, May 24, 2007

DECA to debut at LHS

May 24, 2007

When Dustin Myers was hired to teach business at Lansing High School two years ago, he told administrators he wanted to start two projects, a DECA program and a school bookstore.

With the Lansing School Board's approval given at its meeting last week, Myers can forge ahead on his first goal, to bring an international business and marketing program to the school.

DECA, Distributive Educa-tion Clubs of America, is an association of approximately 185,000 high school students across the country. The nonprofit club emphasizes leadership, community service and teaching technical business skills and operations in specific fields.

Myers was involved in DECA in high school and focused on grocery store management. He said he worked in grocery stores during high school, too. He went to the international competitions twice during high school.

Myers volunteered to be the adviser for free next year. He said the board had to decide whether this would be a paid position, and he knew if funding was required, it may not have been approved.

"My main goal was to get it approved."

LHS principal Steve Dike said, "We've got a broad range of very dedicated teachers, and every teacher in the building is doing something to promote their program from within. Some do it in the form of clubs and some behind the scenes to provide for individuals."

He said as Myers increased opportunities for students, he would see how much time was being consumed and how many students DECA was reaching.

The focus of DECA is to teach students business and managerial skills and operations. Myers said the program would help students become interested in a certain area and may lead to jobs.

"It encompasses a lot of students, not just business students," he said.

He said he has talked to two of his marketing classes to garner interest. He has designated a president, vice president and secretary to help him initiate DECA in the fall.

Sarah Thomas, junior, said she may accept the president position. She said the experience would be beneficial and a resume booster to help her toward her goal of becoming a product manager.

Thomas said she likes the idea that DECA emphasizes interests unlike Future Business Leaders of America, which nurtures talents.

Jay Shoemate, junior, helps raise funds for FBLA and may also take a leadership role in DECA.

As for the rest of the school, he will keep students guessing about exactly what DECA is until next school year.

His teaching assistant posted fliers in the school the past few weeks with catchy logos that don't describe DECA.

"So students will ask, 'What is this thing?' and then I'll come in with a big presentation at the club fair at the beginning of school," Myers said.

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