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Tewksbury High Quiz Bowl Team Claims DECA State Championship (Photos)

Mar 26, 2016 03:28AM ● By Bill Gilman

TMHS DECA Students Front L to R Rachel Bradley, Gianna Dell’Orfano, Aria Porzio, Audrey Casey, Irene Houde, Matt McLaughlin Middle Marian Russo, Jamie Burger, Cardboard Cutout of Abby Cook, Mr. Jim Sullivan Back Jack Theriault, Pat Hunt, Connor Dane, Sam Canelas, Owen MacEachern, Stephen Long, Abby Cook

(Editor's Note: The following information was submitted by Tewksbury High DECA Advisor Jim Sullivan.)

DECA is an organization the prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management in high schools and colleges around the globe. DECA currently has over 200,000 members worldwide from over 3,500 high schools. Massachusetts DECA has over 6,000 members as a state this school year. This year, TMHS DECA has over 120 members consisting of students, advisors, professional and alumni members. Tewksbury Memorial High School students compete in local, state and international level conferences while also participating in several school and local community activities and projects.

This school year, eighty five students participated at the Massachusetts District V Conference back in January, with nineteen students qualifying for the Massachusetts DECA State Career Development Conference which was help last week, from March 10-13 at the Copley Marriott in Boston. At this conference, students competed in one of six different types of events; Team, Individual, Principle, Written or Hybrid and Quiz Bowl. TMHS had two teams, one individual, one principle, two written events and one quiz bowl team. The students competing were as follows:


Connor Dane – Principles of Hospitality

Aria Porzio – Business Financial Services

Audrey Casey & Gianna Dell’Orfano – Hospitality Team Decision Making

Stephen Long & Matt McLaughlin – Financial Analysis Team Decision Making

Jamie Burger & Marina Russo – Community Service Project (Written)

Sam Canelas, Owen MacEachern & Jack Theriault – Learn & Earn Project (Written)

Rachel Bradley, Abby Cook, Irene Houde & Patrick Hunt (Quiz Bowl)

Aria Porzio, Jamie Burger & Marina Russo, Sam Canelas, Owen MacEachern and Jack Theriault all received recognition for Top 10 finishes in their respective categories with over 32 students in each. Connor Dane finished in second place overall in his category along with the Quiz Bowl team of Rachel Bradley, Abby Cook, Irene Houde and Patrick Hunt who finished first place overall and qualified for this year’s DECA International Conference. Marina Russo and Jamie Burger finished in a four way tie for fourth place and ended up finishing in sixth place due to a tiebreaker system, but will be competing at the International Conference as well. Aria Porzio will also be competing at the International Conference as well in the Business Financial Services category in June.

This is the first time in over 20 years that Tewksbury Memorial High School has won this Quiz Bowl competition. The Quiz Bowl is a question and answer game that is competed between all schools that choose to enter and then two teams at a time compete where students must answer questions from the following cluster examinations; business management and administration, finance, hospitality and tourism. First each team takes a one hundred question, multiple choice exam together and the score from that exam determines initial seeding’s for all the participating teams. This year there was a record number of teams that competed, thirty eight teams in all. As a result of the exam, TMHS students earned the tenth seed heading into the competitive round. The TMHS team defeated Billerica 8-1, Apponoquit 6-1, Triton 7-6, Wilmington 8-4 and then defeated Nipmuc Regional in the Championship 9-7 that went down to the final question of the match! As a result, TMHS DECA became DECA Quiz Bowl State Champions! 

In addition to all of the competitive events that took place, Massachusetts DECA students elect State Officers to guide the organization and program for the following year (referred to as the Massachusetts State Action Team) and this year Tewksbury’s Abby Cook was one of fifteen students statewide vying for the open positions. After campaigning during her noncompetitive times, Abby was campaigning at her campaign booth, along with other members of the TMHS delegation that was in attendance at the conference. Abby also had to give a campaign speech in front of the two thousand conference attendees on Thursday night as well as then the five hundred or so voting delegates on Friday and again on Saturday before the election. At the Grand Awards Session on Saturday the new officer candidates were announced and Abby Cook became a member of the Massachusetts State Action Team!

As a result of several National and Statewide DECA campaigns, TMHS DECA also earned nine additional student participation positions at this years International Conference which is going to be held in Nashville, Tennessee from April 22-26. These students will be participating in Thrive Academy and three different Leadership Academy workshops while attending this conference. These academies provide students with tools and skills that can be used to prepare them for their future both individually and as a DECA program. TMHS DECA is extremely excited to have had such a successful DECA year and look forward to finishing up the school year strong. We would also like to thank all of the teachers at TMHS for their help and support of the students participating in DECA, we would not have been able to achieve at such a high level without them all.

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