Belvidere North High School sent 14 students to the Illinois DECA Career Development Conference over the weekend of February 23.

They competed with over 1300 students from all over Illinois in various business related events. 13 of the 14 competitors were rated as "Competent" in their event, meaning they scored over 70%. Students took multiple tests, performed in at least 2 role-play scenarios, and many presented large scale presentations that included 15-30 page papers.

Sophomore Mara Parker and Junior Jillian Chamberlain teamed up to finish in the top-ten in the Buying and Merchandising Operations research event. Seniors Michael Gill, Chris Winters, and Virgil Munyemana brought back a top-ten in "Community Service Project.” Chris Winters also received a top-ten medal for his efforts in the professional selling event. Mara Parker finished 5th in the retail merchandising role play series where she was faced with two short scenarios and had to formulate responses in only ten minutes and then present her plans to the judges. Sophomore Bennett Baker took a small $50 start-up seed money and created a small company. His written project and presentation earned him a second place finish in the "Learn and Earn" event. Senior Virgil Munyemana became Belvidere North's first ever State Champion when he brought home a first place trophy in the Entrepreneurship role play event. Sophomore Samantha Baker was handpicked to attend the Elevate Leadership academy. She will join Mara Parker, Bennett Baker, and Virgil Munyemana in Atlanta, GA. Allie Hammer and Andrrea Slintak already qualified for the International Competition in Atlanta based on their performance in the Virtual Business-Restaurant Management event. Jared Young also received the "Outstanding Advisor" award.

DECA is a business related club focusing on high school students. Students work on philanthropic and community related projects while emphasizing leadership, ethics, and personal development. Students have many opportunities to attend leadership conferences all over the central region of the U.S. and can compete in state and international competitions. Senior Leah Hoffman, BNHS class of 2018, is currently serving as DECA Central Region Vice President, leading and coordinating 13 states and 1 Canadian Province.