Loudoun Students Win International DECA Honors

Nine individuals or teams from Loudoun County high schools finished among the top ten competitors at the DECA International Career Development Conference held April 20-24 in Atlanta. DECA is an association of students interested in marketing careers.

Lauren Board, Hodan Mohamed and Kiyan Parvaresh, of Broad Run High School, were top-ten finishers in the Community Service Project category. Phoebe Draper, Fionn Desmond and Abby Lohmeyer, also of Broad Run, finished in the top ten in the Public Relations Project category. Caleigh McDonough, of Freedom High School, placed in the top ten in the Hotel and Lodging Management Series Role Play. Dylan Casey, of Loudoun County High School, put in top-ten performance in the Principles of Hospitality and Tourism Innovation Plan category. Claire Wigglesworth, also a Loudoun County student, earned top-ten score in the Entrepreneurship Series exam. Katie Akin, of Loudoun Valley High School, was a top-ten finisher in the Quick Serve Restaurant Management Series Role Play. Alexis Deschamps, of Riverside High School, finished in the top-ten of the Promotion Project. The team of Ishita Garg and Soumya Pondugula from Rock Ridge High School finished in the top ten in the Finance Operations category. Rish Choudhari, also of Rock Ridge, placed in the top ten in the Entrepreneurship Series.

Other Loudoun County students earning top-20 honors in their respective events include:

Adam Wadsworth, Briar Woods High School, Personal Financial Literacy; Charlotte Stoessel and Rachel Stromberg, Broad Run High School, Independent Business Plan; Ruthvik Gajjala, Muaaz Luqman and Varun Reddy, Freedom High School, International Business Plan; Kushi Sethuram, John Champe High School, Principles of Hospitality and Tourism; Jack Berg, Amrit Dhanhal and Nidhi Nangia, Rock Ridge High School, Creative Marketing Project;

Hana Stepnick, Stone Bridge High School, Professional Selling; and Arran Ponte, Tuscarora High School, Apparel and Accessories Marketing Series.

Cody Smallwood, the DECA adviser at Potomac Falls High School, received a $1,000 Johnson and Wales Adviser Scholarship.  Casey Sorenson, the DECA adviser at Broad Run High School, and Sandra Tucker, the DECA adviser at Rock Ridge High School, presented a best practices workshop as part of the Adviser Academy.

Broad Run High School students Laith Mekouar served as a social media correspondent during the conference.

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