Recycling a championship team

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 3, 2008

You’ve probably heard of championship teams at Southampton Academy (baseball), Isle of Wight Academy (football), Franklin High School

(both football and girls’ basketball squads won playoff games and each has a state championship banner hanging in the gymnasium).

Less familiar to the public, however, may be the DECA club at Franklin High School. In terms of longevity at the top of their field, DECA would have to be considered a sure-fire dynasty.

For seven years the students who belong to the club, those who assemble its projects that are judged, have been rated No. 1 in the state. Seven years as champions. Some sports teams don’t have seven winning seasons, let alone seven championship seasons.

Under the tutelage of faculty adviser Sandy Atkinson —who received the Outstanding DECA Adviser award, its form of coach of the year — this year’s DECA students continued the success of their predecessors.

Placing first in the state this year in the Creative Marketing Project category was a team made up of Ben Devore, Caleb Wilson and Bradley Strozier.

The project this year was to improve on an existing recycling program. The recycling program started out as a fund-raiser for

DECA, but has since grown into a community-wide effort.

To expand this year, students conducted surveys, took suggestions — such as of needing more organization and communication — and increased productivity.

To raise awareness, they made posters for the school.

Their motto this year was “Educe. Euse. Ecycle. What “R” You Doing To Help?”

Madison Avenue should be so clever.

Mottos are nice but results speak louder. Franklin’s DECA results screamed with success. Students collected up certain types of paper to be recycled, which is even picked up by DECA members. Their efforts doubled the amount of paper collected since the start of the year.

That means bigger bucks. Here’s how:

The recyclables are taken to the fiber plant at International Paper, where the company pays $4 for each 50-pound bag delivered. This year students delivered more than 800 of the 50-pound bags of paper since September.

So, kudos to International Paper for contributing the successes at Franklin High.

For their outstanding efforts at the state level, the DECA team will take its recycling project to the International Career Development Conference in Atlanta on April 25 to compete with other DECA chapters from other countries.

There aren’t too many world championship banners hanging in gymnasiums.