The Business of Winning

North Allegheny DECA breaks records again.


Hilary DeBroff

NA DECA poses for a picture after a record-breaking performance at the district conference last month.

Shuban Tiwari, Staff Writer

On December 15, 2022, 101 North Allegheny DECA students qualified for the state conference–a number never seen before in the history of the club.

DECA, which originally stood for Distributive Education Clubs of America, has been in existence since the ‘70s at NA, and today’s club sponsor, Mrs. Sullivan, has been centrally involved with the club since she started teaching marketing at NASH in 1987. A former DECA competitor herself, Sullivan has always felt a strong connection to the organization and still dedicates an enormous amount of time to its success, which is evident considering the record-breaking numbers DECA brings in each new year. 

“I’m extremely proud,” Sullivan said of the club’s success at NA. “Every year it just keeps getting better and better, and the students are just amazing.” 

The NA DECA chapter has quadrupled in size since Sullivan took it over. Winning Advisor of the Year in the 2019-2020 school year, she is now the president of the DECA Board of Trustees.

The officers of DECA also deserve credit for the enormous success of the organization. Harshi Chinnam and Amsu Yallalacheruvu, leaders of the organization, held several meetings to prepare the competitors for the upcoming conference and were proud of the students’ success. 

“I was really happy to see that we broke the qualifying record this year,” Yallalacheruvu said. “We put in a lot of work to plan the logistics of the district conference and held a few meetings so that the students could practice.” 

At the state conference, the NA qualifiers will compete against students across the Pennsylvania DECA district in the hopes of reaching the final stage of the competition–Internationals. The number of students that DECA has brought to international competition has gradually increased in recent years, and this coming year may break one more record. Last year, the international competition was held in the heart of Atlanta, and this year, the competition will be held in Florida. Many of the DECA competitors are looking to make it to the big leagues, but that can’t happen without performing well at States.

But the State Conference isn’t just a competition. It also serves as an opportunity for high school students to run for state leadership. Last year, NA had Amanda Hulver win Vice President of Leadership. Also, the newly elected District Representative, Collin Wang, will receive recognition at the state conference, taking on the position that NASH senior William Sun currently serves. At Internationals, competitors get a chance to meet with several national officers, as well as presidents from other states.

“I’m proud of everyone that competed at the district conference, and I know that I’ll only be more proud of them at States,” Yallalacheruvu added. “I’m excited!”