Senior Hannah Staal qualifies for International Career Development Conference

Senior+Hannah+Staal+poses+with+part+of+her+DECA+project.+Staal+will+attend+the+International+Career+Development+Conference+National+Championship+in+California+on+April+26+for+her+achievements+in+DECA.
Senior Hannah Staal poses with part of her DECA project. Staal will attend the International Career Development Conference National Championship in California on April 26 for her achievements in DECA.

Senior Hannah Staal poses with part of her DECA project. Staal will attend the International Career Development Conference National Championship in California on April 26 for her achievements in DECA.

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

Senior Hannah Staal poses with part of her DECA project. Staal will attend the International Career Development Conference National Championship in California on April 26 for her achievements in DECA.

Kelly Klouw, Reporter

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As senior Hannah Staal waited for the results on her 75 page paper for a DECA competition, she felt proud of the work she had done, no matter what the outcome would be.

Staal started her paper in September for the recent competition. DECA is a club offered to help teach kids about different aspects of business including finance, hospitality, and management.

The paper ended up earning her a spot in the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) national championship in California, which she will attend on April 26.

“I’m really excited about it,” Staal said. “I’ve wanted to go to California for a long time and that’s just a plus of being able to go to ICDC, and there’s a lot of opportunities there.”

Staal is the only participant that will represent Grand Haven at the event, which includes schools from all over the nation, and all over the globe.

“I did a project that is different than your typical project.” Staal said.

The project included three levels: bronze, silver, and gold. Within those levels there were five different areas needed to be covered. Staal did projects on campaigns such as Save the Catwalk and Raise Your Voice. To qualify for ICDC, she had to receive 75 out of 100 points on her project.

What made her project stand out was the amount of pages within it. Most of the other projects have a maximum of 30 pages, but hers had a minimum of 62, being the longest, most involved project that DECA has to offer.

“She started really early, it’s something she has been working on for months,” ambassador Chad Jettner said.

To be placed in the event, she had to qualify for the state competition. From there, the judges voted on the top one from their group to compete in ICDC. The groups are completely randomized, meaning one may be placed in a group that is very competitive, or be placed in a lower standing group.

“I just got her results back for her evaluation and she got a 99 out of 100, which is pretty rare,” Jettner said.

This year, the club sent 31 participants to the State competition located in Detroit, but Staal is the only participant to compete in ICDC.

“I told this group, and I was completely honest, this is probably the best overall group I’ve ever had.” Jettner said.

Staal’s months of preparation and work ethic played a major role as she sets forth her journey to California.

“She is one of the most self directed, take-initiative, young people that I’ve had the privilege of working with.” Jettner said.

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Senior Hannah Staal qualifies for International Career Development Conference