The Student News Site of St. Charles North High School


The Student News Site of St. Charles North High School


The Student News Site of St. Charles North High School


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Keshav Gupta and Dylan Varghese place first at DECA state, qualify for nationals

23 total North students competed at the competition, all receiving awards for their performance
Mike Horn
Seniors Keshav Gupta and Dylan Varghese pose after winning first place in sports and entertainment marketing at the DECA state competition.

Seniors Keshav Gupta and Dylan Varghese placed first in DECA’s state competition in early March and qualified for the national tournament coming up in April. Another 21 North students went to state this year, all of whom earned recognition for their work in a field of  1,800 other competitors and therefore made school history as a club. 

Gupta and Varghese competed in one of the contest’s most popular categories, sports and entertainment marketing.

“For us, [winning] was pretty surprising,” said Gupta. “It was very exciting to see, and it should be interesting going forward to nationals.”

DECA, North’s competitive business club, aims to educate students on various forms of leadership, planning and marketing. If a student places within the top ten of their event at sectionals, they qualify for the state competition. While there have been North teams in the past to qualify for nationals after state, Gupta and Varghese are the first in North’s history to place first in their category. The two earned nearly perfect scores in each of three categories (multiple choice, two business presentations), overall scored from 0-100. 

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“Within their cluster tests, Keshav got second place overall, while Dylan got third place overall within their individual tasks. And then in their role plays, they actually got first place in both,” said Mike Horn, DECA adviser.

Gupta and Varghese were not the only two to earn awards at state. All 23 of DECA’s state qualifiers earned a competency award during the competition, meeting a long-term goal of the club and granting historical competitive recognition for North. 

“I think the one big goal we had was that everybody earns a competency award, every single person, which I don’t think we’ve ever had; it basically means that you scored over a 70 in one of your events or multiple choice,” said Varghese. 

Some award winners from North include senior Renesh Arcot, taking third place in Business Finance Series Individual Role Play; senior Ryan Baby, earning the Silver iConnect SCN Team Award; and juniors Ava Hoecker and Eva Weyman, earning first place in Buying & Merchandising Team Decision Making Role Play.

Teaching students expertise and presentational skills in their respective field, DECA experienced a large increase in members this year and has subsequently provided more training to its students and inspired more passion within them. Following this season’s accomplishments, they hope to continue their success through nationals and future competitions. 

“This group has set the bar pretty high,” said Horn. “It’s showing the younger students what’s possible.”

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Alyssa Kave
Alyssa Kave, Staff Writer
Alyssa is a staff writer for the Stargazer. She is a Senior and this is her first year on staff. Alyssa joined the team because she wanted to expand her writing skills, give journalistic writing a try, and meet some new people in the club. She hopes to explore each of the unique sections of Stargazer and give this year her all!

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