DECA Advisor
Posted on 05/12/2023
DECA AdvisorHamilton County Schools (HCS) Ooltewah High School Teacher Heather McIntyre has been recognized by the State Department for 25 years of continuous service as a DECA Advisor.

DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) is an association that prepares high school students to develop careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management by teaching business and leadership skills and hands-on activities.

McIntyre is the second teacher in the State of Tennessee that has been recognized for 25 years as a DECA advisor. McIntyre has served on many DECA committees, from regional event planning to state-level marketing and hospitality boards, as well as the International Career Development Conference (ICDC), assisting in competitive events programming.

McIntyre got her first job as a substitute teacher at Bradley Central High School. “I never thought I would be a high school teacher. My Bachelor of Science degree was in Human Ecology with a concentration in Fashion Design and Merchandising.” After taking a long-term substitute position in Marketing, she learned that students could show off what they learned in class through competitive events such as DECA Conferences.”I fell into substitute teaching by accident and got hooked on teaching. I found I loved it so much, and DECA was the cherry on top!”

Her degree concentration and substitute teaching is where she first got involved with DECA. The DECA club at Ooltewah is the marketing and fashion association of students. These classes include Marketing I, Advanced Marketing, and Fashion Marketing. McIntyre works with brands such as Harley-Davidson, Journeys, Barnes and Noble, and others to create marketing campaigns that allow students to receive real-life experiences. The program holds a passion for McIntyre while also allowing her to cultivate that same passion in her students.

During DECA competitions, students take what they learned from McIntyre’s class and put it into action. Students take an industry 100-question test on a specific topic (marketing, economics, business ethics, retail, logistics, hospitality) then they prepare a 20-minute presentation to a panel of judges about a marketing scenario.

The International Career Conference has approximately 20,000 students participating in these competitive events. McIntyre's favorite part about DECA is the connection and the excitement that it brings to students. “DECA aligns with District, State, and National academic standards but connects what you learn in the classroom to real-world applications. The students participate and see this connection.”

Ooltewah High School’s DECA also believes in participating in community outreach by being involved with a multitude of events. They participate in community service by volunteering twice a year at McKamey Animal Shelter, participating in the community outreach program Morning Pointe Senior Living, and serving the Chattanooga Foundation.

Learn more about Ooltewah High School’s DECA: