Seven students from Bremerton High School qualified for the state level DECA conference last week.
Bremerton sent a group of 13 students to the region 7 competition in Tacoma on Thursday, Jan. 10.
Bryan Webb has been the DECA advisor at Bremerton High School for 11 years. He said they've sent more than seven students to the state conference before, but they've never had this high of a percentage advance.
"More than half is rare," Webb said.
DECA is an international association of students, teachers and professionals in marketing, business and entrepreneurship.
The association holds conferences throughout the United States and Canada each year for high school students. It also holds a number of events for college students.
Nicoleen Lebita and Emily Kaselen qualified in the Hospitality Services category. Cameron Henderson qualified in Business Services. Caleb Smith and Mark Rosimo qualified for Sports and Entertainment Marketing. Jade Jarvis and Conrad Ostwald qualified in Marketing Communications.
There are three levels of competition for high school DECA: regional, state and international. The international conference will be held this year in Anaheim, Calif.
At the regional competition in Tacoma, students were scored on a multiple choice test and one-on-one role play scenario with community business leaders.
Webb estimated about 20 schools sent around 300 or 400 students to the Tacoma conference.
Webb said there were likely around 20 students per event, and the top five students from each event qualified for the state competition.
The State level conference will take place in Bellevue March 7-9. It is similar to the regional conference, but since students must qualify through their regional event to attend, the competition is more difficult.
In order to qualify for the international conference in April, students must score in the top six for their event in Bellevue.
However, the number of competitors per event is also much greater than at the regional level. Webb guessed each event at the state level would have around 60 competitors, as opposed to 20 for regional.
There are more than 10,000 DECA members in Washington state divided into 11 regions.
The students in Bremerton's DECA chapter used to operate a store to raise the necessary funds to attend conferences, but Webb said they no longer can since the funding isn't what it used to be.
Webb said they'll probably need to raise around $1,500 for the state competition in March. Anyone interested in donating or getting involved can reach Webb at 360-473-0982.