DECA: Starting Again


Coginchaug DECA has been one of the most successful student organizations at Coginchaug since its inception in 2013. Coginchaug DECA has provided leadership and professional development opportunities for over three hundred and fifty Coginchaug student members. According to Coginchaug DECA’s website, DECA prepares the next generation to be academically prepared, professionally responsible, community oriented, experienced leaders.   

Coginchaug DECA focuses on leadership skill building through hands-on projects such as membership drives, promotional activities, and community service events. Each year students in the club put on Mr. Coginchaug in the spring which showcases ten senior boys in a lighthearted male pageant. Students compete in the CT Career Development conference each spring to test their business acumen and top placers each year are invited to take part in the International Career Development Conference held in various cities throughout the US such as Atlanta, Nashville, Anaheim and Orlando. Coginchaug DECA has done well in the past in competition, including an national first place finish in the AT&T #LaterHaters campaign last year. The students who placed first in the campaign were invited to attend last years’ ICDC in Nashville, but due to the current Covid-19 Pandemic, were unable to attend.


Like all other clubs and organizations  at Coginchaug, DECA has had to adjust to the new norms surrounding the pandemic. They have not been able to meet in person till just recently and are just getting started with their full plate of campaign activities. Though that has not stopped them! DECA held a food drive in school to benefit the Amazing Grace Food Pantry. Students in each homeroom brought in canned goods and toiletries and the homeroom that brought in the most items, won Neil’s Donuts.

DECA at Coginchaug has been a model club and has performed so well that the teacher that leads them, Ryan Donecker has previously been asked to present at the CT DECA state fall leadership conference. Students like Nick Planeta say DECA is, “pushing the idea of developing leadership skills and gives you an advantage in the future in real world experiences.” Leah Wagner stated, “DECA has benefited me tremendously since my time here started. It helped me expand my professional skills and feel more confident when speaking in public.”

If you’re a parent reading this tell your child about DECA.Students should join DECA because the club looks great on the college resume and helps a student with their career after high school or college. If you’re a student drop by after school in the business room on Wednesday and join them.