DECA doubling record with 34 ICDC qualifiers


Photo courtesy Richard Chamberlain

Coppell High School DECA members broke the school record of 17 International Career Development Conference qualifiers with 34 on Feb. 26 in Houston. ICDC qualifiers will travel to Atlanta on April 23-27 to compete with international students.

Sreeja Mudumby, Executive Editorial Page Editor

The Coppell High School DECA chapter set the record with 34 DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC) qualifiers, beating the previous record of 17. The state competition was Feb. 24-26 in Houston and ICDC is April 23-27 in Atlanta.

DECA competitions returned to in person this year as opposed to virtual, allowing members to have a more engaging competition environment. With the virtual competition, individuals were allowed to take as much time as needed to prepare, practice and present their event. In person, however, competitors had to comply with set timings, making the competition more structured and uniform per event. 

As a third-year member and second-year ICDC qualifier competing in the International Business Plan event, CHS senior Ria Akhilesh thinks in-person competition allows for a more natural presentation. 

“There’s some preparation that comes with it because even last year we were really nervous, but we’re trying to keep it as authentic and non-scripted as possible,” CHS senior Ria Akhilesh said. 

In addition to beating the school record, Coppell ISD is providing the financial support to cover costs for all district ICDC qualifiers.

“We’re really grateful for having the district cover our fees this year,” CHS DECA adviser Richard Chamberlain said. “It allows all of our competitors to enjoy the experience and participate in the competitions.” 

According to CHS senior Tavishka Arora, a second time ICDC qualifier, CISD covering costs creates more student interest in competing as hesitation about paying a large sum for participation at ICDC decreases. 

“It is 100% really nice,” Arora said. “Because we don’t have to worry about the fees and all that. It takes the stress and pressure off of who is going and [we are now] able to focus on the actual event and the competition.” 

Looking back at her final year competing at DECA as a high schooler, Akhilesh credits the club for helping develop her interest in business. 

“DECA has helped me pursue my passions because it has given me so many diverse platforms to pursue international business,” Akhilesh said. “Competing professionally with these business plans has helped me learn what to do in the real world and when I go to college.” 

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