Role-playing at Regionals

DECA club competes in first competition of the year


58 NVOT DECA members competed in their regional conference against 15 to 20 other schools from the Northeast region of the New Jersey. Held at Ramapo College on January 7th, this was the first DECA competition of the year.

The event has two parts, starting with students taking a placement test months beforehand. “Students met during lunch and took sample exams, twice in one month,” club advisor Antonio Marino said. However, there is no preparation for the role plays themselves. “They sign up for an event, but it’s not until they go to Ramapo College where they are given their situation, and they have to plan out their ideas, strategies, and solutions,” Marino mentioned.

At the competition, judges give the student a prompt based on a previously chosen theme, like entrepreneurship, hospitality, or finance. Each competitor then does a team or solo role-play of that scenario, where the top 16 competitors from each event qualify for the state competition in Atlantic City on March 4-6. There, students will have the opportunity to compete for a place at the International Conference in Orlando.  

On the day of the competition, students “go in and have 10 minutes of preparation, and then go into another room and do a role-play in front of a judge,” junior Chloe Manenti said. “The principal events only include one role-play and are only for first-year members, but there are also team events to compete in.”

NVOT also has the DECA president of New Jersey, Dana Schoolsky, representing the school. Schoolsky competed alongside the other students, and said she “didn’t do much else outside of competing in the Entrepreneurship Series event, where [she] received scenarios that are related to start-up businesses.

Schoolsky explained that this competition is always exciting for her, as “the think-on-your-feet aspect is something that I feel isn’t present in many other competitions.” She stated,“It’s extremely satisfying when I know how to answer my judges’ questions or when I ask if they have any and they say that I answered them all. I try to make the best out of every situation and present to my highest capability.”

A few days after the competition, 20 students received a notification that they qualified for the state competition, nine of whom also received awards. Manenti, who will be moving onto states, felt “really excited” when she found out she placed. These results were particularly nerve-wracking, due to the fact that “you have to be in the top 16 to make it to states, and I came in 15th,” Manenti said.

Overall, Schoolsky is proud of the club’s performance. “Considering how NJ DECA is growing and becoming more competitive, our chapter did very well,” she noted, “I can’t wait to see how we do at States and who makes it to Orlando.”