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Grandview DECA store earns honors

Photo by Laura Gjovaag.
Miranda Ebbelaar stands in front of the DECA store, Greyhound Grub, at Grandview High School. Thanks in part to Ebbelaar’s work over the past year, the store has earned a gold level certification from the international organization.

GRANDVIEW – “I wish I’d joined sooner,” said Miranda Ebbelaar of Grandview’s DECA Club.

The senior has only been in the club for a year, but has already made an impact. Her efforts helped the Grandview High School DECA store earn a coveted gold level certification.

She will be traveling to the International Career Development Conference in Atlanta, Ga. in May along with two classmates to compete further.

Since she’s joined, Ebbelaar’s focus has gone from the medical field to business. She said she’s found that she enjoys the challenges involved in helping to run the store and has been delighted with the response from students at the school.

“If the store is closed just one day, people freak out,” she said. “We were closed for hiring and everyone was asking what happened.”

In order to earn the certification from DECA, the Greyhound Grub store staff was required to write an operating manual and submit it for judging. To write the manual, Ebbelaar got input from members of the marketing and store operations class, getting everyone to write parts of the document.

Ebbelaar then took the documents and edited them into a coherent whole. She said she looked at the winning documentation from last year’s competition to help her figure out the best way to present the material.

Only 221 school-based enterprises in the United States can earn the gold level certification. Representatives from those schools can then compete for further honors at the conference.

Ebbelaar is preparing for the presentation at the conference, learning what areas she needs to focus on and getting ready to explain how the store has been able to expand its offerings in the past year.

The Grandview DECA store currently opens for lunches and some small events. They have tried a number of different products, learning how to test market them and seeing what succeeds and what fails.

The students learn about management, stocking, inventory and food preparation. Ebbelaar said she would feel confident stepping in to manage a store based on her DECA experience.

The money earned from the store goes toward travel expenses for the DECA Club, which has sent students to places around the country.

“We took 10 students to New York,” said Ebbelaar. “We wanted to experience a bigger city.”

The Grandview organization has nearly 100 members this year, but is focused on gaining members who are active and participate instead of just getting high numbers. Advisor Brad Charvet said most members in the club are active.

Ebbelaar is currently focused on the next DECA event, its second annual crab feed, to be held this Saturday, Feb. 22, at the high school from 6 to 8 p.m.

She also is preparing for the trip to the conference. She hopes that she can bring two underclassmen with her that will carry on the tradition and help Grandview to keep its certification in the future.

“I want the store to continue to succeed after I graduate,” she said.

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