Shrine students shine at district DECA competition

By: Taylor Christensen | Royal Oak Review | Published December 29, 2023

 The students from Shrine Catholic High School who competed at the local district DECA competition Dec. 9 in Berkley earned 48 medals.

The students from Shrine Catholic High School who competed at the local district DECA competition Dec. 9 in Berkley earned 48 medals.

Photo provided by Shrine Catholic High School


ROYAL OAK — Forty-six Shrine Catholic High School students participated in the district DECA competition at Berkley High School Dec. 9. 

Shrine took home 48 medals, with 10 individuals and five teams qualifying for the upcoming state championship, according to a press release. 

The team competed against 1,200 students from other areas including West Bloomfield, Farmington, Seaholm and Novi high schools. 

DECA is a national organization, formerly named the Distributive Education Clubs of America, that “prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe,” according to

The competition consists of eight individual categories and five team events. According to a press release, in order to earn a medal, students must score high points on a 100-question business exam in their category, earn a high role-play score in their section, or earn the top total points for their category.

Seventeen-year-old senior Grace Ishak is the vice president of marketing and recruitment for the DECA team at Shrine and competes in business law and ethics. 

To prepare for the competition, she said, students study together after school during DECA club, or practice role-playing scenarios with teachers and other students. 

The role-playing portion — consisting of a case study and an interview about it — is one of the most stressful portions of the competition, according to Ishak, but she has ways to combat the stress.

“It can get stressful talking to adults, but I do it with a lot of my friends, which is nice, and it’s a great community,” she said. “It’s hard to get into the right mindset before talking to someone you don’t know about a subject you are not highly educated on.”

Ishak said it was nice to meet new people from surrounding schools and prove that Shrine belonged.

“It was great to see people from Shrine go up and win an award,” she said. “We’re definitely a smaller group out of everyone there, so it’s nice to be able to have that competitiveness with the big schools.”

Shrine Catholic High School Principal and DECA moderator Sarah Cerone is impressed by the tenacity of the Shrine students. 

Cerone said that many of the students take on DECA on top of their other extracurricular activities and schoolwork. 

She is also pleased with the outcome of the competition.

“Every year we get more and more medal winners, which just shows that our students are improving and growing, and this year we had a large percentage of new students that decided to be a part of it,” she said.

Those who qualified for the state competition will be heading to Detroit March 14-16 to compete against schools from across the state at Huntington Place, formerly Cobo Hall.