Saturday, May 4, 2013

An Amazing Accomplishment in Anaheim!

Kecoughtan DECA 2013 ICDC Competitors
All school year I have been working with my state officer on an international officer campaign. I've done this before with another student and we were unsuccessful. It was an extremely painful experience after working so hard, but it was also an amazing experience that I learned so much from. This time I was more prepared and my student worked very hard. She was always very positive. Running for a DECA Officer position is no small feat. It costs anywhere from $5,000-$10,000. It takes all year to put the campaign together and the campaign only last about 3 days. You basically run for those 3 days with no sleep and barely any food. This is not for the weak! 

At the campaign booth
But to win means you are one of the 5 student leaders that will lead over 200,000 DECA members worldwide for the next school year. This is the highest position a student can get in DECA and a huge honor - and this year one of those officers is my student! I can't possibly describe the feeling of hearing her name called in a room of 16,000 people after all of this time and energy and emotions have been put into the campaign. Not only have we been investing in the campaign all year, I have had this student for four years and have been able to see her grow and mature. In that moment all of that emotion has to come out and the only way we are capable of letting that much emotion out is to cry...and we definitely cried. 

Our new International Southern Region Vice President!
I'm so incredibly proud of her and all of the students that helped her get here. She will be a great leader and I'm so excited to watch her on the International stage through the next school year. While we were at this conference I missed my teacher of the year banquet and found out I was not selected as the high school teacher of the year. While this was disappointing, I realized that nothing I could ever accomplish in my professional life would be more rewarding that helping a student accomplish something that will change their life forever. 

We spent our very few hours of downtime at Disneyland!
So I check something else off my list. I did not get to check off the finalist or winner at nationals this year. My students that competed did an amazing job and I really thought they would make it, but these contests are subjective and it just didn't work out this year. I unchecked one thing - I am the VAME Eastern Area Teacher of the Year but we don't find out who won overall until August. I also added some things because I don't think we should ever allow ourselves to have a completely checked off list. You have to keep adding new goals so you can continue to learn and grow!