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Cactus Shadows’ Falcon Nest Student Store receives DECA gold-level certification


SCOTTSDALE – Cactus Shadows High School’s Falcon Nest Student Store has received gold-level certification as a school-based enterprise from DECA, Inc. This recognition honors the hard work of CSHS students in operating and expanding the Falcon Nest.

The Falcon Nest is a student store that offers school supplies, healthy snacks, a variety of coffee and beverages, and special promotions during the year. This store is by students, for students and gives Marketing and DECA students a place to put the skills they’re learning in class into practice.

“The store is a learning lab for all of the Marketing and DECA students,” explained CSHS Marketing Instructor and DECA Sponsor Louise Rochford. “The Falcon Nest allows the students the opportunity to take the skills they learned in the Marketing, Business and Finance classes they take at CSHS and apply them in a real world situation. The entire management of the store is done by the Marketing 3-4 and 5-6 students. Each year an Executive Student Store Manager is chosen to work closely with me and the other students to ensure the optimum operation of the store.”

Profits from the Falcon Nest help fund the cost of store operations, as well as DECA activities and competition fees. Students make pricing and marketing decisions as they integrate their education into real-world experience.

“Students make all of the decisions from merchandising, product design, visual displays, promotions, pricing, and staffing,” Rochford said. “All of the 4 Ps of marketing are applied: product, place, price and promotion.”

“Anyone who works in the store must have a food handler’s card and I find that once students have the certification, they then use that to get a part-time job in the food industry,” Rochford continued.

“DECA activities and competitions are merged into the standards and course competencies for Marketing,” Rochford said. “Students are encouraged to join DECA and get involved in all our activities and competitions so they can fine tune and get recognized for their business and marketing abilities, but it is not a requirement in order to be in the class.”

The school-based enterprise certification from DECA recognizes the growth and success of the Falcon Nest and the educational achievements of the students who run it. The students worked as a class to complete the certification process.

“DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management in high schools and colleges around the globe,” Rochford said.