HOLMEN, Wis. (WKBT) - Holmen High School is leading the way in business and marketing education, according to State Superintendent Tony Evers.
Evers visited the school Tuesday morning, and students involved with DECA, a national group preparing young business leaders, showed off their marketing and entrepreneurship skills.
Holmen High School has nearly 500 DECA members, making it one of the largest DECA groups in Wisconsin. The members help run a school coffee shop, plan community service events and participate in district, state and international DECA competitions.
The school's marketing program also allows students to earn credits from Western Technical College.
DECA students were happy to show Evers how the program and the schools’ marketing education opportunities have shaped them.
"It really is a moment I will never forget,” said junior Braden Nissen, the school's DECA vice president of finance. "DECA has meant everything for me.”
"These types of programs involve so many caring, nurturing adults,” Evers said. “It's almost impossible for kids to not turn out to be good adults."
Nissen said skills he learned from DECA helped him secure his financial apprenticeship with Altra Federal Credit Union, one of the school's business partners.
“It really has taught me responsibility, how to be on time, how to make sure I’m always early for meetings, ready to go," he said. "It taught me how to put myself out there and express my ideas without worrying what they’re going to say and really to be able to take a leadership role in my life.”
In Altra's technology center in Holmen High School, Nissen answers students' financial questions.
"We're helping students learn,” Altra’s vice president of marketing, Cheryl Dutton, said. She added that the partnership goes both ways.
"Our average age at our credit union is 39. The average industry age at a credit union is 47,” she said. “So it means we'll be able to continue on for generation and generation with all the youth initiatives we have."
Nissen now knows he wants a future in marketing or business management, but beyond that, he’s still figuring it out.
"You know what they say about high school -- you get a little bit of time to think things over -- so I'm still working out those details,” he said.
Holmen High School has a number of business partners in the community, including Festival Foods, whose chairman, Dave Skogen, also spoke at Tuesday’s visit.
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