North Lincoln High School teacher Tammy Gilmore packed up her students and flew the coop last week in hopes of adding another plaque to the wall in her classroom. Gilmore is the advisor of DECA, an association of marketing students.
Seven of the NLHS students had their eyes on the international prize during their weeklong trip, as they competed at Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City. An estimated 15,000 students and 154 teams from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Germany and Korea met and participated in 39 events.
Of the seven attendees, three ranked in the top 20 with their Learn and Earn project – Matthew Mullen, Fallon Huffman and Cohen Pirtle.
The team showed off their Bojangles presentation, a discount card they purchased for 10 cents a piece and later sold and upped the price for a profit.
The group was responsible for preparing an 18-30-page essay about their project, explaining how they advertised it and decided on a price, and other business factors that were considered throughout the process.
Judges reviewed the written portion of the projects prior to the presentations, and then rated the other components last week, like the Mullen group’s tri-fold poster board.
Skiing, snowboarding, sightseeing and a visit to the “gigantic” organ at the Mormon Tabernacle were just a few of the extracurricular activities Gilmore and her crew participated in while in Utah.
Aside from winning international competitions, the 102-member group is involved with various community service activities throughout the year as well. Their Pink Night raised $11,000 last year, and the Black Out Child Abuse project raised about $3,000.
This fall, as a result of the recent winning and increased momentum across campus, NLHS will be doubling the number of advertising courses it offers, from six to 12.
All of the students from NLHS who participated received the Platinum Award, which recognizes the top 30 percent competing in each event, Gilmore said.
Mullen, 17, took away more than a plaque and a top 20 rating, though; he may have found a new career path through the club.
“I’ve learned more about leadership and interpersonal skills,” Mullen said. “I didn’t even realize all that I was learning; I was just having fun.”
Mullen is set to attend Appalachian State University in the fall, and until recently was unsure what he wanted to study. But has since-decided to major in Marketing, after his experiences with Gilmore and DECA.
Gilmore has been involved with the club for 25 years, seven of which have been at North Lincoln. She has led other teams to victory in previous years, like her daughter who ranked fourth in the nation in 2009.
The 2012 students were Gilmore’s favorite so far, however, and she is excitedly awaiting next year’s newcomers.
“The club allows students to both participate in community service and to understand areas of marketing,” Gilmore said. “I always tell them, if they turn out to be better citizens, I’m happy.”