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Grand Island High School: DECA students heading to national stage

Sat, Apr 27th 2019 07:00 am
DECA students from Grand Island High School were honored at a Board of Education meeting in March after their success at the 59th DECA State Career Conference in Rochester. Eight students qualified for the national business education competition in Orlando, which takes place Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Pictured from the BOE meeting are, from left: Bridget Neeson, Kaylee Butcher, Gabby Bergstrom, Melina Aceti and McKenna Prochaska. (Photo by Larry Austin)
DECA students from Grand Island High School were honored at a Board of Education meeting in March after their success at the 59th DECA State Career Conference in Rochester. Eight students qualified for the national business education competition in Orlando, which takes place Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Pictured from the BOE meeting are, from left: Bridget Neeson, Kaylee Butcher, Gabby Bergstrom, Melina Aceti and McKenna Prochaska. (Photo by Larry Austin)

Eight students from Grand Island High School will depart at dawn Friday morning for Orlando to compete at the DECA International Career Development Conference.

Gabby Bergstrom (newly elected president of New York State DECA), Luke Hess, Lauren Merletti, Emily Cohen, Kaylee Butcher, Melina Aceti, Bridget Neeson and Christian Whetham will leave April 26 and return May 1.

GIHS business teacher and DECA adviser Cheryl Chamberlain is leading the way along with Jude Casey Kuehne.

Opening ceremonies are Saturday with students competing in business and marketing competitions Sunday and Monday. Students who qualify for finals compete Tuesday.

“These kids mean business,” Chamberlain said before departing.

The group includes Bergstrom, the first-ever New York DECA president elected from Grand Island, and Hess and Merletti, who own Casey’s Cabana in Ferry Village. They earned a first-place win at the DECA state competition in March for their business plan.

“They are serious. The Cabana kids want it bad!” said Chamberlain, who herself was honored at the state conference with a lifetime achievement award.

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