Waiakea, Hilo students apply skills at CTSO competition

  • Hilo High School DECA competitors, from left, Dennis Palad, Emily Kerr, Stephen Panoff, Fiona Supan, Keli Hanley, Sonja Giardina and Elizabeth Atkinson.

    Courtesy photo

  • Courtesy photo

    Waiakea High School DECA, HOSA and Skills USA students competed at the state Career and Technical Student Organization Convention in Honolulu.

Waiakea and Hilo high school Career and Technical Education students excelled at the 2018 Hawaii State Career and Technical Student Organization Convention that took place Feb. 21-23 at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu.

DECA, HOSA and Skills USA conferences are targeted, highly focused learning experiences for students in the field of business, health, automotive and digital media industries. The conferences bring student members into the business industry while providing unique opportunities to extend classroom learning.


The state convention connects with professionals to engage students in learning industry-related trends and content.

Hilo High DECA and Waiakea High DECA, HOSA and Skills USA students competed in various competency and performance-based events and exams in marketing, retail merchandising, medical terminology, nursing assistant, applied technical math, prepared speech, automotive technician written and practical testing and digital media.

The following Waiakea students received awards:


• Maria dePillis-Shintaku, Marketing Communications, second place written exam.

• Alyssa Mathews, Business Services Marketing, third place written exam, finalist medal, third place trophy.

• Naya Nguyen, Retail Merchandising, role play medallion, finalist medal.

• Mika Odaira, Retail Merchandising, role play medallion, finalist medal, second place trophy.


• Talia Liepold, Medical Spelling, second place.

• Mina Poppas, Health Education Team, third place.

• Kiana Marie Serrao, Physical Therapy, second place.

• Jeanette Tajifi, Medical Math, third place.

• Leira Joyce Vea, Health Education Team, third place.

Skills USA

• Kyle Dela Cruz, Automotive Service Technology, first place.


Mathews, Odaira, Liepold, Poppas, Serrao, Tajifi, Vea and Dela Cruz have the opportunity to represent the state and participate on a national level at their respective national competitions between April and June.

Meanwhile, four of Hilo High’s DECA competitors advanced to the national conference in April in Atlanta.

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