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DECA students win individual and team awards at state competition

Feb 28, 2017

PA Cyber's DECA team captures awards and honors at state competition in Hershey.

Students from PA Cyber's DECA club captured first, second and third place awards at the DECA State Competition Feb. 22-24 in Hershey, Pa.

Competitors were Morgan Hartley, Sarah Hulse, Melanie Hulse, Morgan Myers, Ishra Musa, Muhammed Musa, Jasmine Rao, Melanie Rao, Christopher Palmieri, Brianna Pritts and Joseph Kratohwill.

DECA, which stands for Distributive Education Clubs of America, prepares students for potential careers in hospitality, finance, marketing and management, according to student advisors Kelly Romasco and Whitney Conjeski.

The following high school students placed in the top four in each of their categories, earning them a spot at the International Career Development Conference April 26-29 in Anaheim, Calif.

• First place in the Job Interview category: Brianna Pritts, 10th grade

• Second place in the Public Speaking category: Christopher Palmieri, ninth grade

• Third place in the Marketing Team event: Jasmine Rao, 10th grade and Melanie Rao, 12th grade

Romasco said the rest of the students who didn't place did really well, but didn't score high enough to rank in the top three spots. Ranking in the top three is difficult with the competing students per category ranging from approximately 25 to 40 competitors.

"We had a fantastic trip to Hershey for the DECA State Competition," Romasco said. "Our students did such a great job in all of their events."

"We are so proud of these students," Whitney Conjeski added. "They have done a fantastic job this year."

As a chapter, the DECA team also won three awards. PA Cyber was one of only two schools to complete the Thrive Membership Campaign, which earned the club the Thrive Membership Award. This means the club increased its student, alumni and professional memberships by 20 each this year. PA Cyber also won the Thrive Community Service Award and earned the top spot for its Plan of Action.

Romasco said students worked hard throughout the year, undertaking such things as community service, job shadowing, advocating for DECA at school, advertising for DECA in the community, holding a help session for all PA Cyber students and families, holding study sessions for the competitions, and fundraising for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Because of their hard work on the Thrive campaign, several students who didn't place at the state level are qualified to attend the international event. The students are Morgan Hartley, Sarah Hulse, Melanie Hulse, Morgan Myers and Ishra Musa. They will participate in the Thrive Academy, which is part of the international conference.

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About PA Cyber

Serving students in kindergarten through 12th grade, the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) is one of the largest, most experienced, and most successful online public schools in the nation. PA Cyber's online learning environments, personalized instructional methods, and choices of curricula connect Pennsylvania students and their families with state-certified and highly-qualified teachers, and rich academic content that is aligned to state standards. Founded in 2000, PA Cyber is headquartered in Midland (Beaver County) and maintains a network of support offices throughout the state. As a public school, PA Cyber is open for enrollment by any school-age child residing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and does not charge tuition to students or families.