This article originally appeared in the summer 2015 Harker Quarterly.
It comes as no surprise that the business and entrepreneurship and DECA programs have garnered kudos galore for individual and team efforts this year. Here are the final achievements of the school year.
TEDxHarkerSchool 2015 – March 21
TEDxHarkerSchool, which this year drew more than 100 attendees, is one of the TEDx events held around the globe led solely by students for students. TEDxHarkerSchool operates in the spirit of TED by focusing on “Ideas Worth Spreading.” To the TEDxHarkerSchool team, it is just as critical to get these ideas out to youth as to adults.
In addition to inspirational adult speakers, one student each year takes the TEDxHarkerSchool stage to share what inspires them. TEDxHarkerSchool also hosts a mentorship luncheon, which gives attendees the opportunity to network with dozens of professionals in the technology, entertainment and design fields, among others.
TEDxHarkerSchool 2015 featured five speakers: Ajay Shah, founder and manager of Technology Solutions Business of Solectron and former CEO of Smart Modular Technologies; Cammie Dunaway, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Nintendo; Deborah Perry Piscione, author of “Secrets of Silicon Valley”; David Gross, partner at Faegre Baker Daniels law firm; and Harker student Samantha Madala, grade 12, founder of Healthy Scholars, which raises awareness of education-stunting health issues.
In addition, there were five exhibitors: Toms Shoes, NAACP, Arista Networks, Acton (RocketSkates) and Songabby.
DECA Faculty and Staff Appreciation Get-Together
Harker’s DECA chapter hosted a faculty and staff appreciation party in April with desserts and coffee to thank those who make sure students have the wherewithal to attend DECA events. Eric Kallbrier, assistant to the B.E. director, was named “Staff of the Year.”
CareerConnect hosted its second- annual mentorship banquet in April, an opening event for the mentorship program in which Harker students are paired with industry professionals. For example, students interested in business are paired with executives from Yahoo, Google, Facebook and the like.
International Career Development Conference
In late April, 28 students from Harker’s DECA chapter traveled to the International Career Development Conference in Orlando, Fla. During four event-filled days, the 18 students who qualified at California’s State Career Development Conference competed, while the remaining students attended the Emerging Leader Series. Of 10 Harker teams competing, four placed in the top 20 and qualified for the final round of competition. Students attended leadership seminars, a run/walk event and networked with other DECA members from around the world.
At the Grand Awards Session, Harker students were called up on stage to recognize their top 10 finish in The Stock Market Game and as national Finish Line Challenge winners. Full details on this conference, The Stock Market Game and Finish Line Challenge winners are available at news.harker.org; just search on DECA.