A few days away from a chilly Minnesota spring was the reward for seven Owatonna High School students who attended the DECA International Conference in Atlanta, GA April 23-27. Dylan Meiners competed in the Principles of Finance Role Play Competition. Audrey Simon, Hillary Haarstad, Claire Heyne, Cael Dowling, Connor Ginskey, and Preston Meier attended the Thrive Leadership Academy.

A press release from OHS coach Scott Pierce indicates DECA "competitions are designed to simulate real-life business scenarios and test students' academic understanding and skills development. The top state and provincial winners put their talents to the test during the program's final round of competition in Atlanta."

Nearly 20,000 students were vying for about $500,000 in scholarships and awards.

Students got the chance to attend an Atlanta Braves baseball game, visit The Georgia Aquarium and attend a concert at Mercedes Benz Stadium.

"DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. DECA enhances the preparation for college and careers by providing co-curricular programs that integrate into classroom instruction, apply learning, connect to business and promote competition," the news release continues.

Owatonna had 107 DECA members for the 2021-22 school year.


Ginskey was recognized for outstanding efforts in choir, band, cross country, basketball, and track and field. He carries a GPA above 4.0. He is also a National Merit Semi-Finalist. Ginskey told the high school league, "Participating in the arts at OHS and performing in the top ensembles has taught me life lessons such as leadership and accountability, and I have created friendships that will last a lifetime."

Read the full news release from the high school league.


Meiners is heading west, to join the Air Force Academy in Colorado after graduation. Read the OHS Magnet story.

Meiners is extremely active at OHS. He is involved with Student Council, the robotics team, Knowledge Bowl, Math League, drumline, marching band, cross country, tennis and National Honor Society, according to the OHS Magnet.

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