Bluffton High students bring home business awards

rheaton@beaufortgazette.comMarch 5, 2012 

Five Bluffton High School students qualified to compete in Salt Lake City after their performance at the Distributive Education Clubs of America State Career Development Conference in Charleston. Pictured front row, from left: Laura Herring, Frank Ferrato and Meg Tilton. Back row, from left: Hallie Davis and Nashell Simpson.


Marketing and business students at Bluffton High School took several top spots in a recent statewide business competition.

The students competed in the DECA State Career Development Conference the weekend of Feb. 25 in Charleston.

They took marketing or business-related tests and worked through hypothetical business situations, according to a news release from the Beaufort County School District. Their performances were scored by volunteer business people.

Five students were named state award winners for placing in the top five in their events.

Most of those students will also go on to the international DECA conference in Salt Lake City in late April. Finishing in the top five at the state event were:

  • Nashell Simpson, first place in apparel and accessories marketing.

  • Meg Tilton, second place in business services marketing.

  • Frank Ferrato and Laura Herring, third place in travel and tourism-marketing management.

  • Landon House, fifth place in sports and entertainment marketing

  • All except House will go on to the international competition.

    The following students also placed in the top 10 at the state level in their events: Hallie Davis, Danya Ivey, Aaliyah Jackson, Shanta Lawyer, Meghan McMahan and Nala Seignious.

    Davis also was elected the state vice president of special projects. She will attend the international conference for leadership training and help manage DECA activities in the state for the next year.

    Libby Ferrato, the school's DECA sponsor, said this is the first time her students have qualified for the international conference. Last year, two Bluffton High students placed in the top five at the state competition, she said.

    Ferrato said the group is co-curricular -- students are both enrolled in a business class and continue to practice for competitions as an after-school activity.

    "The curriculum in the class is what they are getting quizzed on by business people in the competitions," she said. "They're taking the classroom text book and applying it to a real-world scenario."

    According to the news release, the school's DECA chapter received a Gold Chapter Award because of its increased number of participants.

    Follow reporter Rachel Heaton at

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