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UCS school stores rank among nation's best

School Store Composite

All four Utica Community Schools high school stores have been honored as among the best in the country.

The Eagles Nest, of Eisenhower High School, The Talon, of Henry Ford II High School the Titan Shoppe, of Stevenson High School, and The Chief Connection, of Utica High School have Gold Level Certification for the 2022-2023 school year and will be recognized during DECA’s International Career Development Conference in Orlando, Florida.

The stores were honored as school-based enterprises (SBE) - an entrepreneurial operation in a school setting that provides goods and services to meet the needs of the market.

SBEs are managed and operated by students as hands-on learning laboratories that integrate National Curriculum Standards in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. DECA advisors have utilized this effective educational tool for over four decades to provide their students with realistic and practical learning experiences that reinforce classroom instruction, enhance 21st century skill development, and prepare students for college and careers.

The Eisenhower DECA members who contributed to the certification were Rachael Gaulin and Alyssa Kassab with the assistance of their DECA chapter advisor, Louise LaFaive.

The Henry Ford II DECA students are Jace Milne, Ava Queener and Carla Koki through their advisory, Jennifer Milke.

Stevenson High School students are Elma Ruznic, Jewels Haisha and Andi Sugrue. Their advisor is Heather Gabriel.

The Utica DECA members who contributed to the certification were Alexis Findley, Laina Tomei and Natalie Shtogrin with the assistance of their DECA chapter advisor, Dana Boice.

“DECA’s School-based Enterprise Certification Program is a rigorous process designed to help DECA members demonstrate their classroom learning in a practical, learning laboratory, and then translate that into meaningful outcomes,” said Christopher Young, CAE, Chief Program Officer at DECA Inc. “These DECA members are practicing important workplace readiness skills while preparing for college and careers.”

DECA’s School-based Enterprise Certification Program provides recognition for outstanding achievement by school-based enterprises and to motivate SBEs to strive for excellence and growth. SBEs can be certified at three levels: bronze, silver or gold.

In order to apply for the certification, SBEs must submit extensive documentation that explains how the SBE demonstrates the practice of various marketing and retail standards. A review committee evaluates the documentation to determine which level of certification has been achieved.