CRANFORD, NJ - The Cranford High School DECA Club had 44 members attend the New Jersey State Leadership Conference held from February 24-26, in Cherry Hill.

Of the 44 students attending the conference, 10 students placed in the top ten of their business categories. Four of those students earned a spot to further compete at the DECA International Career Development Conference in Nashville, TN from April 23 through April 27.  

At this event, more than 15,000 students from around the globe will test their subject knowledge and participate in role play scenarios. Cranford DECA has competed  at the national level for the past 10 years and has traveled to Florida, Georgia, Utah, Texas, California, and this year, Tennessee.

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"Cranford High school is very proud of the talent its marketing and business students demonstrate year after year, and the many successes they have enjoyed over the years," Donna Cathcart, club advisor stated. 

The following is a list of winners and their respective events:
Ben Bacall, 1st place, Marketing Management
Grace Chen, a returning national finalist, 1st place, Quick Serve Restaurant Marketing
Kelly Drake, 2nd place, Food Marketing
Jakub Iwaniuk, 3rd place, Accounting Applications

Cranford High School DECA is also proud to announce the following students who were top 10 state finalists in their events:

Philip Halek, Principles of Business Management
Kevin Schwartz, Principles of Marketing
Natalie Schenker, Food Marketing
Jillian Walter, Hotel and Lodging Management
Michael Podbelski, Accounting Applications
Jon Debaro, Sports and Entertainment Marketing

DECA is aimed at helping students prepare for business careers. The program, an association of marketing students, builds self-esteem, leadership skills, and allows students to network with business professionals.  

Other students attending the conference were:  

Brett Mallon, Ryan Donovan, Philip Triano, John Monahan,Thomas Steele, Kaitlin Ciuba, Maxim Mallick, Jennifer Shore, Matthew Capone, Rebecca Piassek, Mairead O'Donovan, Rosie O'Donovan, Katherine Drewniak, Megan Power, Marianna Muratore, David Debole, Amanda Bush, Olivia DelVicchio, Kayla Principe, Lucas Ramadan,Thomas Feeney, Kyle Pollock, Patrick Hoey, Owen McDermott, Erin Infante, Hannah McCarthy, Nathan Glazer, Spencer Pascal, Chloe Levy, Adriana Pinto, Brittany Welsh, Thomas Armstrong, Maria Venturo, and Christian Rivera.

For the competition, each student completed a one-hour written test focused on their area of interest — then read, prepared for, and executed role-play scenarios. These activities allow the students to demonstrate their content knowledge, demonstrate their creativity, and sharpen problem solving skills. Business, marketing, and accounting professionals served as judges for more than 4,000 students attending the competition from across New Jersey.  

The high school division which is nearly 70 years old includes 215,000 members from all 50 United States, the District of Columbia, Canada, China, Germany, Guam, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Spain.

Cathcart commented, "Congratulations to all Cranford High School DECA members on a job well done, and much more success as they represent Cranford HS in April in Tennessee."

The students are advised by CHS Business Management teachers Donna Cathcart and Cynthia Keyasko.