Hovey qualifies for DECA and theater

Ryan Hovey, junior, with Mrs. Doane and Mrs. O’Brien at DECA Nationals in Nashville.

Lauri Hoedl, Reporter

Ryan Hovey, junior, qualified for nationals in the Retail Merchandising Series at DECA State and Theater Marketing for “Crush” at the Kansas State Thespian Conference.

Hovey has been involved in theater for all three years of high school so far, but this year was the first time he went to state. He entered his “Crush” individual event in the state thespian conference.

His “Crush” advertisement campaign then ended up receiving a qualifying score at the Kansas State Thespian Conference and will be attending the international thespian conference.

For DECA, the competition is impromptu. Hovey said at DECA state “it was interesting, because I didn’t think I won at first.”

He later realized that he did qualify for nationals.

Hovey is the only student out of the six Olathe South students that qualified for DECA nationals who attended.

DECA Nationals was a five-day long competition held in Nashville, containing around 18,000 students that were qualified to attend.

A typical day at nationals for Hovey was waking up early, competing in his event and then exploring Nashville.

Hovey explained that there was a “clear distinction between state and nationals” and that the national competition was “the next level.”

Though DECA state was a better bonding experience with others, Hovey had a lot of fun at nationals. He went on many tours and met a lot of cool people.

Hovey said his favorite part of DECA Nationals was “the experience of getting to qualify for such an esteemed event” and that he learned “even though there are better people, it’s still easy to have fun.”

Though Hovey did not end up placing at DECA Nationals, he enjoyed the experience and will try again next year.

For the International Thespian Conference, he had to put together a marketing advertisement. In his marketing advertisement, he had to lay out a budget, schedule, and ad campaign for “Crush.”

The presentation took several months to put together and a great deal of practice to perfect presenting the material. Hovey described the most necessary part in qualifying as “coming up with ideas that will make you stand out.”

Hovey’s interest in business is sparked by his background. His father and brother have been involved in business and have been big influences in his love of marketing.

There is no higher place to go after DECA nationals and the International Thespian Conference.

The DECA sponsors Hovey has worked with are Amanda Doane and Cindy O’Brien. David Hasting, theater teacher, helped Hovey with his theater campaign.

Hovey said he hopes to qualify again next year and “couldn’t do it without the overwhelming support of Mrs. Doane, Mrs. O’Brien, and Mr. Hastings.”