By Jessica Mathews /

Two Howell High School students and DECA club members are advancing to the international DECA competition after being named state champions.

The students, Thomas Stevens and Jacob Hiller, each had to complete a 100 question written exam. As a team, the students had to complete a case study situation involving a problem in a business in the area of sports and entertainment marketing. For the case study, the students had to prepare and present a 15-minute presentation to a judge who works in the sports and entertainment industry.

For their case study, Stevens and Hiller had to develop a promotion and marketing plan to support red wolves conservation for a high school whose mascot was the Red Wolves. Their project included raising funds for red wolf conservation through ticket sales and promoting conservation efforts through informational signage at sporting events.

Three other Howell High School students were named state finalists. Jackson Dukes and Adam Mrakitsch earned honors in the Buying and Merchandising Team Decision Making event and have qualified for the international competition as alternates. Joel Rushlow excelled in the Individual Entrepreneurship Series event.

In total, 18 Howell students qualified for the state competition based on their performance at a district event. Additionally, Dukes and Rushlow also earned medals for the highest test score in their flight of competitors.

The International DECA Competition will be held virtually in April. The competition winners will be announced during an awards ceremony on May 6th.

More information is provided in the attached press release.

Pictured from left: Thomas Stevens, Jacob Hiller (international competition qualifiers) Bob Klein (advisor) Jackson Dukes, and Adam Mrakitsch (international competition alternates).