Multiple Scotch Plains-Fanwood students advance to DECA Nationals during this unprecedented year


Joe Kaplan, Staff Writer

Even during times of COVID-19, many students from DECA were able to qualify for Nationals. While students were not able to travel to Atlantic City for the annual state competition, all contests occurred virtually. Whether it was taking a test or submitting a paper, each student demonstrated that it does not matter whether it’s in person or not. Every student was extremely excited when they figured out they won. 


I’m very happy to have won this award, and it feels good knowing that my hard work has paid off. It’s also exciting to know that I’ll get to compete again at nationals this year,” Senior Ryan Eng said. 


Seniors Carly Walker and Ryann Wall talked about what DECA meant to them throughout their time at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School and how their knowledge of business has grown since their freshman year.


“Going to DECA states means a lot to me and my partner, Ryann Wall. Ryann and I went into our first regional competition freshman year with no expectations and no idea that we would qualify for states,” Walker said.  “Ryann and I have been to states every year and the past two years we have actually placed at states which were awesome. It’s really cool to see how full circle we have come, being the new freshman in the club barely making it to states, to now being the presidents of the club and placing at the state level twice.”


I have gone to states all four years of high school and it is nice that I can end my high school career in such a positive way,” Wall said. ”It has shown me how much I have grown since my freshman year and how my scope of knowledge about business and marketing has widened significantly. It is also bittersweet because it will be the last state competition. I am sad that I can’t be a part of DECA anymore.”


Eng, Wall and Walker also mentioned how DECA will impact their future years, either in college or for a job. 


“In college, I will be studying business and marketing, which I have been learning about throughout my DECA experience.  DECA has taught me about presentational speaking, one-on-one proposals, confidence and other tactics to network with people,” Wall said. 


“I hope to use DECA to help me throughout my studies in college and even further in life. I hope that my skills and confidence that I have learned through DECA can help me to one day open my own business,” Walker said. 


Eng mentioned what he would like to accomplish in his future years thanks to his success during DECA.


“DECA has taught me to better compete and develop my interpersonal and networking skills. I’ll be sure to take the lessons that I’ve learned from DECA with me into my professional career,” Eng said. 


Another reason as to why DECA Nationals tend to be an exciting event is the fact that many get to see new faces talk about their business ideas and their knowledge on the many subjects that relate to their project.


Juniors Josh Gabbai and Brandon Melnitsky both advanced to Nationals as they worked on a paper together. Gabbai talked about his excitement towards competing at Nationals as well as the impact DECA will have on future events regarding business. 


“I think it’s gonna be a great experience and we’ll see how it goes virtual,” Gabbai said. “I can see DECA helping in the future when it comes to innovative thinking in this advancing world. In the real world I think DECA can also help with on the spot thinking and creating new business ideas for companies.”


DECA has led the way for many students at SPFHS to showcase their knowledge on all things business and how it could impact our lives in a very important matter. Although it may be virtual, these students will still have the chance to show how passionate they are towards their projects and how important it is for the many future business events.