South High School store receives DECA Gold Certification

South High School store receives DECA Gold Certification
Photographed left to right: Rick Vine, South High DECA advisor/business teacher; junior Amal Deochand, head of the school store; John Motchkavitz, South High business department head; junior Ian Tsao, manager of the school store; Christopher Gitz, South High School principal; and Sheryl Demetres, South High DECA advisor/business teacher. (Photo courtesy of the Great Neck Public Schools)

Two students at South High School have been awarded DECA Gold Certification for their school-based enterprise, known as The South Shop. Junior Amal Deochand, head of the school store, and junior Ian Tsao, school store manager, received this prestigious award for their successful business model implemented at the South High DECA chapter school store.

Gold Certification is the highest accolade awarded to a chapter and qualifies both students for the National DECA Competition in Orlando, FL. DECA is an internationally recognized business organization that offers students various competitive and educational business opportunities.

Every school year, DECA provides recognition for school-based enterprises that serve as model school store operations at three levels: bronze, silver, and gold. These students succeeded in attaining DECA’s Gold Certification for their outstanding documentation and innovative practices. Their work in the store was judged based on a 50-page written paper that was prepared over the course of a two-month period. The paper described every aspect of the store including its financial, operational, and promotional activities.

Amal and Ian worked diligently this year to revitalize their store. Under the store’s new name, The South Shop, they conducted market research to update the product selection with items such as freshly brewed iced coffee and kimchi noodles. They also introduced a new payment feature through the Square register systems to expand their accepted payment methods to Apple Pay and credit cards. All their successful efforts earned them this prestigious title.

“We strive to provide students with learning opportunities that extend past the classroom in the traditional sense, and to provide employees with the chance to operate a real business—with real money—and to deal with real challenges that come with operating a successful business,” explained Amal and Ian.

The South High DECA chapter and school store are under the guidance and direction of business teachers Rick Vine and Sheryl Demetres. Amal and Ian will present their work at the International DECA Conference at the end of April for a chance to be recognized at the international level.

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