FHS DECA Students Build Business and Marketing Skills, Prep for State Event


A class of Ferndale High School students are heading to State competition after an incredible 80% of the class qualified at regionals. These students are part of DECA, an advanced marketing club operating under the auspices of the Ferndale High School Career and Technical Education program (CTE.)

The mission of DECA is to provide students with hands-on training in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management. They learn these skills by attending conferences, preparing to compete in events against other students from around the region, and bringing school-based businesses to life.

One school-based business Ferndale High School DECA students have taken on is selling Golden Eagle spirit wear through an online partnership with BSN Sports and through the ASB store. Opening online sales twice during the 2019-2020 school year, they have already experienced a great deal of success with their fledgling enterprise.

DECA students qualify for State competition in one of several ways. Students qualify by competing in a variety of events including: Business Law & Ethics, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality Services, Sports & Entertainment, Accounting Applications, Apparel & Accessory Marketing, Business Finance, Innovation Plans, Human Resources Management, Hospitality & Tourism Professional Selling, Integrated Marketing Campaign Events, and International Business Plans..

The success earned by the members of this year’s DECA class has a lot to do with the energy and enthusiasm of the person who is leading them, Ms. Michele Stern. Stern is a familiar face at Ferndale High School, where she has taught Freshmen English and Honors English for several years. When Stern was asked to take over the Business Pathway in the CTE Department, she responded with an enthusiastic “yes.” She is currently working halftime in English and halftime in CTE as she builds the business program to full capacity.

The DECA program could not be a more natural fit for Stern, who holds a Bachelor’s of Business and worked in retail management for a decade before returning to school to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher.

Stern talks about what she is most excited about with DECA and the Business Pathways: “These students are fabulous. They are smart, capable, industrious, and creative. They are our future leaders, and DECA is truly back at Ferndale High School. I am so proud of them, and I look forward to many years of continued growth with this program.”

Stern says that to get ready for state, students will need to take another exam and/or revise their papers, as well as preparing to do another presentation or participate in another role-play event. She says the key is, “Practice, practice, practice. That will be our focus before the State competition.”

Ferndale School District Superintendent Dr. Linda Quinn is excited about the future of DECA and Business Pathways at FHS. “Michele has really taken this program to a new level and inspired our talented students to discover all that DECA has to offer them. Michele’s leadership has meant re-birth for this important program, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I want to send heartfelt congratulations to each student who will be representing Ferndale in the State competition. We will be rooting for you!”