Today's post is from senior Mark Randklev
My name is Mark Randklev, I am a senior at Mound Westonka High School. When asked to write about a specific moment that I am proud of in my high school career, there’s one main event that comes to my mind. Last year as a junior I qualified for the International Career Development Conference in DECA. It was my first year in DECA, and I had no clue what to expect. After qualifying for the State competition in my role play, I was so excited. Nobody, including myself thought I would get there. My advisors Mrs. Lolich, Mrs. Simonson, and Mr. Lee gave me so much confidence going into the competition after being very scared at districts. When the list of people qualifying for State Finals was posted, I was sitting in my room. I got a text saying congratulations for making it, and then I realized that I had advanced to finals at State!
At this point, I realized that all the business classes I had taken, all the studying I had done, and the praise my advisors had given me were actually legitimate. I went into the role play with lots of confidence. I had nothing to lose, it was my first year in an individual event and I knew I would be fine. Once I presented, I thought I knocked it out of the park. I walked out of the room with my head held high, and the first person I saw was Mrs. Simonson. She asked me how I did, and I told her that I felt very good about my role play. She told me she knew I could do it as I headed back to my hotel room.
Next came the Awards Ceremony. The kids who hadn’t made finals had already left and gone home to Mound. The whole place was still packed with 2000 kids, and as I looked around I pictured being up on that stage, but told myself not to get my hopes up too high. As Paige Beyer and her fellow state officers presented trophies and medals to the events before mine, my heartbeat rose. I watched Willie Maahs, Joey Leenay, Kelsea and Abe, and others go up on the stage and win! Next up was Business Services individual role play -- my event. In the top 8 were Adam Abrams, Katy Wetherille, Tony Christopolus, and myself. Once we were up on stage they announced the top three that would receive a trophy and a ticket to compete at ICDC in Anaheim, CA!
Third place was the first to be called, and it was a girl from Edina. I thought that 3rd place was my only chance at advancing, so I clapped and looked around at the others. I was positive that Adam and Katy would be 1st and 2nd place. Then the announcer said, “2nd place… from Mound Westonka, Mark Randklev!” I did it! I was so excited! Katy took 1st place next, and as we walked off I was met by a huge High-5 with Mrs. Simonson, a fistbump from Mr. Lee, and a bear hug from Mrs. Lolich. We had done it...we had advanced to ICDC in Atlanta!
Mark and Katy
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