Harker DECA concludes 2018-2019 season with banquet celebration


Alysa Suleiman

Glass presents the new officer team, lined up onstage in the Nichols auditorium. The 2019-2020 officer team consisted of 12 members.

by Alysa Suleiman, Reporter

Harker DECA hosted one of their two annual end-of-the-year events, the banquet celebration, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. last Thursday in the Nichols Atrium. DECA parent night, the other end-of-the-year event held specifically to inform new and returning parents of the DECA program, was held on Tuesday, May 21.

After a light dinner of caesar salad, mozzarella sticks, and sauteed chicken that lasted around 30 minutes, DECA officers, students who participated in DECA this season and parents alike filed into the auditorium for what the officer team organized for the rest of the evening.

The DECA banquet serves to recognize valued members of the Harker DECA community, be it students, teachers, or parent volunteers, as well as commemorate the end of the competitive season. Throughout the year of one mock conference, WRLC, and three different competitions , SVCDC (Silicon Valley Career Development Conference), SCDC (State Career Development Conference) and ICDC (International Career Development Conference), chapter members were asked to vlog their experience for the benefit of future members. Current officer members put the different clips compiled together from the year into a video that was projected to the clapping audience.

“One of the things I love the most about the banquet is how we recognize individuals in our chapter who excelled in ways other than competitive success, such as community-oriented or excellent leader. I feel that these recognitions are a great way to bring the community together,” said Phil Han (11), one of the new 2019-2020 co-CEOs.

After the videos were shown, awards were presented to chapter members for their invaluable contribution to the chapter. Some awards included Most DECA-cated member, which went to Clarice Wang (9) for her dedication to the chapter and who the mentors noticed never failed to show up during Friday practice sessions. Julie Wheeler, AP U.S. History teacher, received an award for her dedication and care as a chaperone for many of the competitive events.

“It was exciting to meet the new officer team and proudly introduce my parents to the tightly knit community of Harker DECA,” said Andrea Thia (9), one of the chapter members who received the Professionally Responsible award.

Following the mini awards session, the new 2019-2020 officer team was announced. Co-CEOs are Mahi Kolla (11) and Phil Han (11). The competitions team includes Vice President of Competitions Anvitha Tummala (10), Director of Roleplays Alivia Li (9) and Director of Written Events Bryan Zhang (10). The operations team includes Vice President of Operations Claire Luo (10), Director of Membership Clarice Wang (9) and Director of Community Engagement: Lisa Barooah (10). The public relations team includes Vice President of Public Relations Elaine Zhai (10), Director of Technology Anay Karwal (11) and Director of Communications Gianna “Gigi” Chan (9). The Vice President of Finance is Sidarth Dudyala (11).

Following the awards session, Juston Glass, DECA advisor and Director of Harker’s Business and Entrepreneurial Program, presented his own special gift to the graduated seniors of whom he has mentored and formed memories with through most of their high school years. The honored seniors then each gave a short farewell speech, a tender moment for all. This year’s officer team was proud to send off their three seniors: Enya Lu (12), Vice President of Silicon Valley DECA, who worked with the rest of the official Team 68 California state officer team; Shania Wang (12), the 2018-2019 CEO, who led the entire Harker DECA chapter as well as organized events pertaining to each of the vice presidents; and Riya Gupta (12), the vice president of Public Relations, who coordinated all publicity events between Harker and the Harker community and oversaw the chapter’s volunteer efforts.

Alysa Suleiman

The night ended with a symbolic gesture of presenting pins to the new officer team from Glass, proud to mentor and witness the end of a journey, as well as the beginning of many others, for all members of the Harker DECA chapter.