PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 2020
CONTACT: 
Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant
jcrusco@holyangels.org

DECA Gains Ground in State; Shea Invited to Compete at Nationals

Demarest, NJ: Business-minded teens from the Academy of the Holy Angels recently competed at the DECA State Championship in Atlantic City, where team members earned multiple awards. The top honor went to Catherine Shea, who became AHA’s first DECA member to qualify for the national event in Nashville, Tennessee.

“As a chapter overall, we received an achievement lightning level award for growing our chapter to four times the size and qualifying twice as many girls to the state competition,” said AHA DECA Adviser Krystal Hermanns. All but one of last year’s DECA team graduated in 2019, so this year was like starting from square one, Hermanns reported. The good news is that the team grew from 13 students last year to 56 this year.


Emily Nam, Tamara Kim, Chaelin Park, and Brooke Hess were recognized as top placement for the Virtual Business Challenge in the State of New Jersey, with Emily and Tamara having the highest score for the state in both the October and January rounds. Sophie Cossio was recognized for earning one of the highest test scores in the state, and Laura Carbo was honored for having one of the highest role-play scores. Claire Dodds and Olivia Leonard received certificates in hospitality/food management for their test scores, and both Laura Carbo and Catherine Shea made finals. Shea, whose topic was Principles of Business Management & Administration, became a second place national qualifier out of hundreds of student competitors.

“I am extremely proud of these girls for qualifying and competing at this level. These girls went from barely knowing what DECA involved to competing at one of the highest levels. I am hoping that they are able to take this great experience with them into the future, and put it to good use in both interviews and in the world of business,” Hermanns added.

AHA Principal Jean Miller noted, “Our DECA club supports the work our students are doing in the classroom. It provides students the opportunity to determine if they have genuine interest in certain business careers while still in high school, thus making their college experiences more practical. Our graduates are forging a formidable presence in the business sector, and impressively, in leadership positions.”

AHA DECA members who attended the state competition in early March included Sophie Cossio and Olivia Leonard of Hoboken; Tara McDonald of Ramsey; Angelina Busetto of Pomona, New York; Brooke Hess of Cedar Grove; Katie Merriam of Tenafly; Camille Rivas of Guttenberg; Lola Samiian of Englewood; Emily Diaz and Laura Carbo of Ridgefield; Molly Brooks of Bardonia, New York; Victoria Rocker of Cliffside Park; Claire Dodds of Cresskill; Catherine Shea of Glen Rock; Kaitlyn Grifonetti of Old Tappan; and Cassandra Beckmann of Tuxedo, New York.

Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious high school serves young women from a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. Over time, thousands of women have passed through AHA’s portals. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts, and athletics. The Academy’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.

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