WEST GOSHEN — West Chester East High School counselor Carol Lill has won the state’s award for DECA Counselor of the Year.
The professional and technical organization, formerly known as the Distributive Education Clubs of America, has 3,200 high school chapters and 200 college chapters around the world.
Her colleague Jeff Conner and Lill’s students nominated her for the award which she said she was very surprised to receive.
“It’s a great honor, but the most important thing is when your colleagues and students think you’re doing a good job,” Lill said.
With 177 students participating this school year, DECA à l’Est is one of the biggest clubs in the school. The extracurricular organization is business-focused and teaches emerging leaders in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management. The focus is on teaching 21st century skills.
At the DECA State Conference in mid-February, at Hershey Lodge, students from the East competed with students from across the Commonwealth. Twenty-seven Vikings have progressed and will compete at the next or “international” level.
Through role-playing and after answering 100 questions, students are judged by an adult. They are then presented with a realistic business scenario and given 10 minutes to prepare a response.
Lill, a Bloomsburg University graduate and fitness enthusiast, has been working with DECA students for 26 years.
West Chester Area School District Superintendent Bob Sokolowski is proud of Lill.
“We are very proud of the work Carol has done over the past 20 years to build the confidence and entrepreneurial spirit of our students through her position as an advisor to the West Chester East DECA Chapter,” said Sokolowski. “She works tirelessly not only to help students develop vital business and leadership skills, but also to show them how they can use those skills to support the wider community.
“Her recognition as the Pennsylvania DECA Advisor of the Year Award is so well deserved and only confirms what we already knew about Carol’s dedication to this program, to WCASD students, and to our community.”