Nine LAHS DECA Students Qualify For International Conference Following Successes At State Conference

The Los Alamos High School DECA Quiz Bowl Team, from left, of Gabriel Cook, Gabriella Mowrer, Betty Kang, and Brian Han won first place at the State Conference. Photo Courtesy LAPS


Nine Los Alamos High School (LAHS) students have qualified to participate in the International DECA Conference. Seniors Brian Han and Betty Kang, and juniors Gabriel Cook, Ryan Peterson, and Mia Martinez will compete in the Individual DECA Competitive Events in April at the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Orlando, Florida. 

Three LAHS students were selected to participate in the DECA Leadership Training Academies. Senior Gabriella Mowrer will attend the Aspire Ultimate Graduate Academy, and sophomores Andres Sanchez and Stephanie Cummins will attend the Elevate Ultimate Chapter Leader Academy and Ignite Ultimate Member Academy, respectively.  Senior Rachel Butler will represent New Mexico DECA as a voting delegate in the national officer election process.  

Five of these students ranked in the top four scores in the Individual Series category in the New Mexico State DECA Competition. Brian Han won first place for Business Finance Series, Betty Kang won first place in Principles of Business Administration and Ryan Peterson won first place in Sports and Entertainment Marketing.  Ryan also received a $500 scholarship to Eastern New Mexico University.  Gabriel Cook won third place in Quick Serve Restaurant Management, and Mia Martinez won fourth place in Personal Financial Literacy. 

The LAHS DECA Quiz Bowl Team of Brian Han, Betty Kang, Gabriella Mowrer and Gabriel Cook won first place at the State Conference.  Four-person teams were presented with questions related to economics, business, marketing, and entrepreneurship. The LAHS team won the preliminary District 1 competition and advanced to defeat La Cueva High School (District 2) in the final round to emerge as the 2023 New Mexico DECA Quiz Bowl champions.  

Thirty LAHS DECA students participated in the District One written test competition. Students from fifteen high schools completed two 100-question written tests at the district level. Testing categories included Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Business Management, Hospitality and Tourism, and Finance. Students with the top eight scores in each category advance to the State level.

Brian Han received special recognition for tying for first place in the District Curriculum Exam.

Twenty-four LAHS students initially qualified to advance to the state competition, where students from twenty-four New Mexico High Schools compete for the opportunity to participate in the International Competition. Nineteen LAHS students chose to continue to the State level. These students completed an additional one hundred question written test and participated in a live “role play” scenario at the State DECA conference.

Eleven LAHS students advanced in the competition as New Mexico State Finalists. These students then participated in an additional “role play.”  The top four finalists in each category advanced to the international competition.

“I continue to be amazed and inspired by our DECA students,” said Los Alamos High School DECA Advisor, Dr. Sharon Hurley. “They worked diligently throughout the fall semester to prepare for this competition. These are the future business leaders of our communities. I am confident these students will represent Los Alamos High School very well at the international competition. We are grateful to LAHS Administrators and Los Alamos Public Schools District Office for their continued support of the DECA program.”

The international competition is part of the 2023 International Career Development Conference hosted by the DECA organization. The conference, held in Orlando, Florida in April, will bring twenty thousand high school students, advisors, DECA alumni, and business people together to discuss preparing for college and careers in business. DECA is an international organization dedicated to providing opportunities for students to participate in leadership training and career pathways conferences in the fields of marketing, finance, business management, and hospitality and tourism. Additionally, DECA provides students with experience in interviewing and networking with other students from around the globe who have similar career interests. DECA also offers merit-based scholarships for participating students.