DECA State Career Development Conference Champions

On March 6, 2024, Middletown DECA students participated in the annual Connecticut DECAState Career Development Conference. DECA is an international student organization of approximately 225,000 high school and college students centered around Marketing, Management, Hospitality, and Finance. Middletown DECA, founded over 45 years ago, is one of our state’s oldest co-curricular student organizations, with approximately 200 members annually at MHS, and has been recognized the past 12 years as a top international chapter by DECA Inc. Our Marketing program has held the #1 ranking by the state Department of Education for the final four years of the rankings.

At this year’s conference, approximately 950 attendees from around the state took part in competitive events focused on Marketing, Management, Hospitality and Finance. The competitive events consisted of rigorous content-based testing and performing impromptu case study problem solving virtual presentations to industry judges. A wide variety of different events were available for students to choose from, all centered on career pathways and interests. Examples of events include business finance, marketing management, human resources management, business law, ethical decision making, entrepreneurship, and advertising campaigns. A typical event had 25 student competitors this year.

Middletown students once again shined with an amazing 33 student winners and 26 international qualifiers.

The students’ successes are a result of not only their hard work and dedication, but also because of the unwavering support from our cherished alumni, parents, community members and organizations, MHS Administration, MPS central office staff, student support services, library/media professionals, university partners like Johnson and Wales, the business community partners Linda’s Team/William Raveis and Men’s Wearhouse, school colleagues, Director of Innovation and Grant Services Natalie Forbes, Superintendent Dr. Vasquez-Matos, Mayor Florsheim, the Common Council, Middlesex Chamber, and Board of Education.

The students earning 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place in their respective category qualify to attend the International Career Development Conference held in sunny Anaheim, California, in April. At ICDC, 22,000 attendees from around the globe will compete in the same career-related competitive events.

Please help us congratulate the following students on their hard work and success:

1st Place and International Qualifier

  1. Dana Kugeman, Accounting Applications

  2. Gianluca Latina, Financial Services Team

  3. Michael Gennaro, Financial Services Team

  4. Aaryan Gautum, Marketing Management Team

  5. Evan Langdon, Marketing Management Team

  6. Michael-Anthony Kline, Financial Literacy

  7. Jenna Carfora, Quick Serve Restaurant

  8. Brody Miller, Restaurant Management

  9. Owen Killkelly, Sports and Entertainment Management Team

  10. Luke Weisenberg, Sports and Entertainment Management Team

  11. Savino Civitello, Buying and Merchandising Team

  12. Aiden Roy, Buying and Merchandising Team

2nd Place and International Qualifier

  1. Havenie Polycarpe, Sports and Entertainment Management Team

  2. Owen Bernard, Sports and Entertainment Management Team

  3. Nana Obeng, Travel and Tourism Team

  4. Lily Collins-carrion, Travel and Tourism Team

  5. Gabe Kolosky, Restaurant Management

  6. Mia Annino, Retail Merchandising

  7. Janice Agyepong, Business Law and Ethics Team

  8. Kaylinh Sukasame, Business Law and Ethics Team

  9. Alex Cyr, Automotive Services Marketing

3rd Place and International Qualifier

  1. Jamal Burnham, Entrepreneurship Team

  2. Anthony Nanfito, Entrepreneurship Team

  3. Jimena Trejo-Aguilar, Human Resources Management

  4. Ailish McKenna, Principles of Hospitality

  5. Kaidence Mason, Quick Serve Restaurant


  1. Xavier Emanuel, Sports and Entertainment

  2. Sarah Gray, Marketing Communications

  3. Dania Rabah, Hospitality Services Team

  4. Erin Tortora, Hospitality Services team

  5. Yousif Hamam, Restaurant Management

  6. Qymesha Hutley, Food Marketing

  7. Eleisha Douglas, Entrepreneurship

To keep apprised of all the wonderful accomplishments of our students, follow DECA on Instagram, TikTok, and X @middletowndeca

Thank you again for your continued support.
Dave Reynolds, Vivian Sheen, and Lee Schwartzman, DECA Advisors