North Gwinnett's gold-certified program in top 12

Three North Gwinnett High graduates completed their K-12 career with one additional accomplishment: They contributed to the school's recent recognition as one of 12 international winners of the "Distinguished Presenter" award, which the school earned for the successful operation of its gold-certified school store.

North Gwinnett High's school store, or School-Based Enterprise (SBE), known as the "Dawg House," received the award in May at the 2009 DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) International Career Development Conference in Anaheim, Calif.

"I am so proud of my students," said North Gwinnett High marketing teacher Jacqueline Huffman, speaking of North Gwinnett High graduates Brian Geil, Lindy Pope and Casey Schnautz. Under Huffman's leadership, the students worked on the extensive documentation required to become a gold-certified SBE. They were present at the conference in California as they received the award on behalf of the school.

The three students worked on the Gold-Level Certification, which the SBE received from DECA earlier this year. During the recent conference in California, the gold-certified "Dawg House" competed against more than 100 other gold-certified SBEs from all over the world for the Distinguished Presenter award.

SBEs are effective educational tools in helping prepare students for the transition from school to college and work. For many students, they provide the first work experience; for others, they provide an opportunity to build management, supervision and leadership skills. DECA's SBE Certification Program was developed to provide recognition for outstanding achievement and to motivate SBEs to strive for excellence and to grow.

DECA is a not-for-profit student organization preparing its membership for careers in marketing, management, and entrepreneurship.

Heather Darenberg writes about education. Good News From Schools appears in the Sunday edition of the Gwinnett Daily Post. For more good news, visit www.gwinnettdailypost.com on Monday.