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Two UCS school stores named among best in nation
Two UCS school stores named among best in nation
Posted on 02/12/2021

Two Utica Community Schools high school stores have been named was among 246 school-based enterprises achieving gold level for the 2020-2021 school year.

Chief Connection, of Utica High School, and The Talon, of Henry Ford II High school, will be recognized during DECA’s Virtual International Career Development Conference this April 19-23, 2021. 

The Utica High School DECA members who contributed to the certification were Keagan Mahar, Nolan Dishman and Ryan VanHeusden with the assistance of their DECA chapter advisor, Dana Boice. This is the 10th year that the UHS school store has earned this recognition. 

"I am so proud of these boys and their willingness to continue to work hard while adjusting how to run the store online and write the certification paper. I am excited to watch them compete at the virtual ICDC in late April," Boice said. 
The Henry Ford II High School DECA members who contributed to the certification were Donovan Kurkowski and Christian Zakaria with the assistance of their advisor Jennifer Milke. This is the 8th year the store has earned the recognition. 
"I am extremely proud of Christian and Donovan for their dedication and determination to successfully complete the DECA School-Based Enterprise Gold Level Certification,” Milke said. “Despite the circumstances, they worked diligently through virtual platforms to complete a well-written, detailed paper."

A school-based enterprise (SBE) is 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. 

“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. 

DECA’s School-based Enterprise programs are sponsored by Intuit and Otis Spunkmeyer Inc.

Cutline – 
Donovan Kurkowski and Christian Zakaria, of Henry Ford II, outside their school store. 

Nolan Dishman, Ryan VanHeusden and Keagan Mahar, of UHS, at a conference last year in Detroit.