Coppell DECA member wins Top 10 award at ICDC, fifth in CHS history


Coppell High School DECA members won several awards at the International Career Development Conference, with sophomore Manasa Borra winning the fifth Top 10 award in the organization’s history. CHS DECA members traveled to Orlando, Fla. for the International Career Development Conference on April 21-26. Photo courtesy Manasa Borra.

Vibha Viswanath

Editor’s note: This story has been updated from its original version.

The Coppell High School DECA chapter excelled at the International Career Development Conference (ICDC), with CHS sophomore Manasa Borra winning the fifth Top 10 award in the organization’s history. The competition was held in Orlando, Fla. at the Orange County Convention Center on April 21-26, with students and advisers lodging at Universal’s Cabana Bay Resort.

Coppell High School took 27 competitors who won several awards, including two individual awards and one team finalist award. Borra won a Top 10 award during the final round of Business Services Marketing, and CHS junior Swarra Mudgalkar, CHS junior Shria Balaji and CHS senior Jishnu Chintha were finalists for Top Role Play performance. Seniors Dhruv Kamtam, Shriya Poluru and Medhasri Kasarla were awarded for their top role play performance.

“We had an amazing group of seniors this year,” DECA advisor Richard Chamberlain said. “Some just couldn’t quite make it to finals and they were very close. We couldn’t match our test scores with our role-play performances with the ability to make finals, but the kids had a great time and that is what’s important.”

ICDC had more than 25,000 students from nine countries and all 50 states that competed in career clusters of marketing, business management, finance and hospitality. To get to internationals, Coppell students qualified from the State Career Development Conference held in Dallas on March 9-11. Students competed in written and role-play performance events along with a 100-question test. The top 20-30 competitors advanced to the final round, where they competed again for a Top 10 award. 

“DECA is a lot of fun,” senior Top Role Play performer Shriya Poluru said. “You meet a lot of friends, and everyone is business oriented. You can explore other parts of the business, and if you really like DECA, you can continue on in collegiate DECA.”

With exhibition booths from various colleges and businesses, students could discover opportunities and gain business oriented knowledge. District 11 DECA officers attended the Executive Officer Candidate Meet and Greet to meet candidates and vote for Southern Region Vice President and President during the Business Conference. 

“I personally enjoyed the whole voting process a lot,” sophomore District 11 vice president Yashitha Chunduru said. “The speeches were all really impressive.”

This year, competitors had the opportunity to visit Universal Studios and the Island of Adventure at a discounted price from 5-11 p.m. The parks were exclusively for ICDC qualifiers from 7-11 p.m. Students were able to enjoy the park without its usual commotion. 

ICDC will be held in Anaheim, Calif. next year. 

“The final goal is to get DECA Glass, which is the top three awards,” Chamberlain said.  “When I started here, we had never had a Top 10 performance and now we’ve had five since 2016, so that has been exciting. Our expectations for next year are to send between 20-25 students to ICDC and have at least one Top 10 performance.” 

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