By Tom Tolen /

The Brighton High School DECA chapter won an impressive number of awards at the annual DECA Association Career Development Conference held last week at Huntington Place (formerly Cobo Hall) in Detroit. A total of seven BHS students won state championships in various categories.

Brighton High School DECA advisers Brent Luplow and Michelle Costa gave kudos to Evan Porter, a Brighton High school student who is on the Michigan DECA Executive Council. Costa told WHMI Tuesday that she and Luplow have "an amazing group of students this year,” saying their mentors "are very proud of their hard work.”

The state winners from Brighton included Ashley Patterson in Business Solutions, Jack Williams in Business Finance, Olivia Edwards in Food Marketing, Molly McKaig in Hotel and Lodging Management, Mathew Milstone in Principles of Business Management and administration, and a shared state championship award went to BHS students Kalea Hoatlin and Makayla Bihlmeyer in the Hospitality Services Team category.

In addition, 14 Brighton students received exam medals, seven were given role play medals and 14 were named state finalists. The state champions from Brighton now advance to the International Career Development Conference to be held in Atlanta, GA, in April. Costa said that being in DECA is not merely a matter of taking a certain class or pursuing a course of study. More than that, she says, the students "have built relationships and connections that will remain now and into the future."

DECA is a non-profit organization with 175,000 members around the world that prepares high school and college students for careers in marketing, entrepreneurship, finance, hospitality and management.
Below: the full list of Brighton High School students who received recognition of individual ability and achievement at the state level:

Ashley Patterson-Business Solutions... State Finalist, State Champion
Elizabeth Gira-Apparel and Accessories Marketing...Exam Medal
Amber deChavez- Apparel and Accessories Marketing... Role Play Medal Jack Williams- Business Finance...Exam Medal, State Finalist, State Champion Grace Olds- Business Services Marketing... Role Play Medal, State Finalist Evan Blake-Thomas- Entrepreneurship... Role Play Medal
Olivia Edwards- Food Marketing... Role Play Medal, State Finalist, State Champion
Jacob Cook- Food Marketing...State Finalist
Molly McKaig- Hotel and Lodging Management...Exam Medal, Role Play Medal x2, State Finalist, State Champion Holly Ireton-Human Resource Management...Exam Medal, Economics Test Medal, State Finalist
Annie Sukosky- Marketing Communications...State Finalist
Sidney Jordan- Quick Serve Restaurant Management...State Finalist
Matthew Milstone-Principles of Business Management and Administration... Role Play Medal, State Finalist, State Champion
Makayla Bihlmeyer and Kaela Hoatlin-Hospitality Services Team... State Finalist, State Champion
Connor Blood and Caleb Laho-Sports and Entertainment Team...State Finalist