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RCHS students earn highest honors at DECA

Jack Gebhardt (left) and Maria Pangolos (right) both earned top honors at the DECA world championship.

Rock Canyon High School students at the DECA world championship in Atlanta, Georgia. From left to right, back row: Maria Pangalos (CP), Sydney Nation (CP), Zander Robinett, Nidhi Unnikrishnan (Air Academy High School), Derek Chen (CP), Neeraj Dodda, Jack Gebhardt (CP) and Cody Hyman (CP). From left to right, front row: Sydney Truijillo (Fort Lupton High School), Lyla Padden (CP) and Kaity Rimer (CP).

By Lisa Nicklanovich; photos courtesy of Janna Robinett

Rock Canyon High School senior and Castle Pines resident Maria Pangalos earned first place at the DECA world championship for the event Principles of Hospitality and Tourism. Jack Gebhardt, a Castle Pines resident and RCHS senior, was a top 20 finalist for financial consulting.

Approximately 14,000 students competed for international awards and scholarships as emerging leaders and entrepreneurs at DECA’s annual International Career Development Conference in Atlanta, Georgia April 21-24.

DECA prepares budding business leaders for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management. The competitions are designed to simulate real-life business scenarios and test students’ academic understanding and skills development. In addition to career-based competition, DECA members engaged in leadership academies and networking opportunities with more than 60 internationally-recognized businesses.



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