Klamath Falls, Oregon – Klamath Union High School’s DECA business club was named DECA Chapter of the Year at statewide competition in Portland Feb. 23-25. It was the ninth time since 2000 that KU’s chapter has won this top honor. Three students also qualified to compete at DECA’s international conference in Nashville (now canceled due to COVID-19 concerns). 

DECA’s annual Career Development Conference in Portland drew about 850 DECA members from across the state to tackle business-related challenges. KU sent 16 students this year to compete against 35 other Oregon teams.

For Chapter of the Year, KU students presented their chapter’s 2019-2020 activities in four categories: leadership development, community service, membership development and chapter promotion.

Those activities included attending a three-day leadership conference in Washington, D.C., organizing fundraisers for Toys for Tots and the Klamath Animal Shelter, transforming KU’s student store into a coffee stand and promoting DECA through a “10 Weeks of DECA” campaign, which included a homecoming float, a scavenger hunt, a tie-dye event and other activities to spark interest in the club.

Accepting KU’s trophy was senior Kannah Greer, president of KU’s DECA chapter and vice president of career development for all DECA chapters statewide.

“It is all worth the hard work when you hear your school called, and you know you won the state championship,” said Greer.

Greer also placed eighth in Hospitality Team Decision and fifth in Hotel Management.

Senior Brady Monteith placed second in Project Management Community Giving, sixth in Restaurant & Food Services Management and eighth in Hospitality Team Decision. It was Monteith who spearheaded “Nog Jog,” an event that raised $1,000 for the local Marine Toys for Tots gift program in December.

“I love running and eggnog, so this was a perfect fit for me,” said Monteith. “This project pushed me out of my comfort zone in completing the presentation at the state competition. I had to focus on speaking slowly and make sure the judges understood the difficulty of the project.”

Greer and Monteith qualified for international competition in Hospitality Team Decision.

First-time competitors Shelby Huggins and McKenna Whitlock also performed well. The juniors placed 13th in Marketing Communications and 15th in Retail Merchandising respectively. Huggins qualified for international competition.

When schools reopen, the club will focus on recruiting new members to continue their success next year.