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Cane Bay student wins silver on world stage

Published Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Preston Santiago

Preston Santiago (BCSD photo)

Inside a crowded Georgia World Congress Center, about 19,000 students from all over the world mingled, competed and emerged as young leaders at the DECA International Career Development Conference held this week.

You could say some of those students were lucky enough to win competitions focused on certain career clusters and 21st century skills. However, when there are 10,000 students competing, it’s less about luck and more about preparation.

Preston Santiago of Cane Bay High School was one of those more prepared students as he represented his school, Berkeley County School District and the Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs.

He was one of only three students from South Carolina to make it to the final round of an event. While he left Atlanta with silver instead of gold, his accomplishment is to be praised. With 10,000 students competing in nearly 60 events, competition was abundant and fierce.

Santiago’s silver medallion was awarded for his high test score in the Hotel and Lodging Management event. He said his accomplishment would not have been possible without the CTE programs at BCSD.

"I am thankful for my teachers giving me the knowledge and experience to be successful in DECA over the past three years.” Santiago said. “This has been a limitless experience to cap off my senior year,”

Teachers and advisors accompanying BCSD DECA students at the conference say Santiago embodies what DECA is all about.

“Preston is a stellar example of success among our CTE students,” said CTE Program Coordinator Heidi Guerry.

Cane Bay DECA advisor Jay Hudson couldn’t be more proud. 

“Over the past two years, I have seen him (Santiago) grow in confidence both as a leader and as a competitor,” Mr. Hudson said. “It is a great pleasure to work with all of our students, but Preston has reached a level of success that very few DECA students worldwide will ever meet.  We are all very proud of him!”

Brian Troutman