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Wadsworth High Students Score Top Ten Nationally in DECAS National Tournament

Parker Ross and Hailey Harris are pictured together in front of DECA’s convention center. They were pictured after winning the top 10 nationally at the awards ceremony. Photo courtesy of Parker Ross.

Two Wadsworth High School seniors, Hailey Harris and Parker Ross went to Anaheim, California for DECA’s National competition, where they both placed in the top 10.

Both are currently students in the Business Marketing Academy inside the Four Cities Compact which encourages students to join DECA’s competition to build upon their skills.

The competition lasted four days from April 27-30. It included a 100-question test and two roleplay scenarios of real-life business trends and issues. There was a break provided in-between the two role-play scenarios, where Harris believed that it was helpful to improve on her second roleplay.

Ross is pictured placing his national medal on his neck in front of the organizers, crowd, and other winners of the competition. This was on the award ceremony day which was April 30, and this was his first top 10 finish nationally. Photo courtesy of Hailey Harris.

Previously in the state competition, Harris received first place in the Sports and Entertainment Marketing competition, while Ross received 5th place in Marketing Communications, which made the two eligible for the National competition.

Harris is pictured walking away from the podium after receiving her medal to stand as one of the winners of her category. The photo was taken on April 30 and was her second time achieving this medal. Photo courtesy of Hailey Harris.

“Everyday [and] every night I would go home and look at different materials in business and marketing,” Harris said.

Even with all of her hard work and dedication to studying Harris still had some hard times throughout the competition. When she was at the district competition she was super nervous that she would blow it and wouldn’t make it back into the state competition.

“Studying took a lot of work, honestly,” Ross said. “And there were a lot of people [competing].”

Parker recalled from the week of April 27, that the two both woke up around 3 a.m. to catch a 7 a.m. flight into Los Angeles International Airport on Saturday. They then went to an opening Ohio ceremony, and after Ross went to the Los Angeles Angels baseball game.

On Sunday morning, Ross explored Los Angeles. Later, Harris and Ross completed their competitive testing, a 100-question test, which left free time for them to relax and have some freedom.

Then on Monday, the two had to complete their two roleplays with an hour break in between. 


On Tuesday, they were ranked in the top ten nationally in their categories with over 260,000 people competing globally and 24,000 participants in the national competition.

Parker Ross and Hailey Harris are pictured in front of DECA’s convention building in Anaheim, Calif. They were pictured after they had finished their 100-question test and were coming back to DECA’s convention to finish their roleplay tests. Photo courtesy of Hailey Harris. 

“It was kinda surreal, the amount of people there, and the amount of people competing in my category alone I never thought I was going to get on stage,” Ross said.

Harris also believes that it was awesome and that all of her hard work paid off when she arrived on the stage.

“It feels great to do it not only once but twice, so it was exciting. And I feel relaxed and it is a good way to close out my senior year,” Harris said.

Ross plans to pursue his career later in life in the subject of marketing and hopes to find a successful job where he can become a leader in his field. He is an incoming freshman at the University of Cincinnati and pursuing a major in marketing and a minor in sales. While Harris believes that she will pursue political science on a pre-law track, her experiences with marketing will still be important in her college experience at West Liberty University.

Other Four Cities Compact students who traveled to California to participate in DECA’s national tournament include Karla Keifling, Vince Vinay, Ava Hart, and Kaity Robinson.

*Edits made: The names of all local competition participants was added to this story on May 14.



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    Singleton LauraMay 13, 2024 at 5:06 pm

    Hailey is my granddaughter, is there anyway I could get a copy of this article?