Fargo North High senior and North Dakota State DECA President Morgan Thompson has been elected as the DECA international president for 2012-13. Thompson was elected to the post late Tuesday evening by delegates among the 12,000 high school students attending the four-day International Career Development Conference in Salt Lake City.
Thompson, who was planning to enter the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities next fall to study marketing, will delay her college experience by a full year to take on the responsibility. In her capacity, she will serve in advocate, advisor, and ambassador for the international organization. Thompson will spend a significant amount of time traveling in that capacity over the next 12 months: initially for officer training, and then followed by meetings with legislators, attendance at conference and corporate events, meetings with state and local DECA chapters, and other visits as a representative of the organization.
“This has been an amazing experience,” Thompson said. “Running from North Dakota, you don’t always have the odds on your side. But meeting with people and expressing your passion for the organization, all of the hard work made everything come together in the end.”
Thompson was elected to DECA’s top post by a first-round simple majority of the 397 delegates, a rare event in the caucus-based campaign of the conference. (North Dakota has only 4 delegates.) North High chapter members and North Dakota delegation spent four days campaigning and caucusing with other attendees.
Thompson and her staff raised over $9,000 this year for the campaign from F-M area individuals and businesses. Her platform, “Light The Way,” was based on three goals: (1) creating a lasting impact so that the future organization can grow; (2) increasing and improving communication between the chapters, and state and national offices; and (3) utilizing social media to increase the organization’s membership, retention and activation.
Thompson’s first goal is significant. Congress cut $140 million from the Perkins Act in FY2011 as a part of its debt reduction efforts. The Perkins Act funds Career and Technical Education, which is the foundation for student organizations such as DECA.
North Principal Andrew Dahlen believes that Thompson is up to the task. “International DECA has selected one of North Dakota’s best and brightest as their next president,” he remarked. “Morgan is an intelligent, creative and articulate young woman. She will be able to use her expertise in leading the International DECA organization to new heights. We are very proud of her.”
In addition to being active in DECA, Thompson is also a member of the North High varsity tennis and volleyball teams, FCA, and student council.