NAUGATUCK — When it comes to the runway, Naugatuck High School knows how to rip it up.
More than 100 students and faculty from the school took to the stage in the Davis Auditorium for the NHS DECA Club’s 4th Annual Rip the Runway Fashion Show March 14. DECA is an international association of high school students interested in pursuing careers in marketing, management, finance or entrepreneurship.
The show featured runway segments with students modeling such attire as summer and formal wear interwoven with talent performances by students and staff.
“It’s a good way to get the whole school and community out here to see what Naugatuck High School can put on,” said Gabrielle Wilson, vice president of the DECA Club, about the show.
The show, which is produced and put on by students, takes about a month to prepare for, Wilson explained. The show comes together at a busy time for students, particularly DECA students, who were also preparing to compete in the Connecticut DECA State Career Development Conference held Feb. 27.
“We managed to get it done and do it well,” Wilson said.
The show also serves as a major fundraiser for the club’s trip to the International Career Development Conference, which this year will be held April 24 to April 27 in Anaheim, Calif.
Tim Reilly, a teacher at the high school and DECA advisor, said eight students — Chelsea Maza, Travis Wyant, Edesiri Igbuya, Faith Okifo, Justin Rinaldi, Matthew Russett, Jake Morrissey and Wilson — placed at the state competition and will compete at the international event.
In total, Reilly said, 20 students are planning to go to the conference. Those students who aren’t competing will take part in workshops throughout the event, he said.
The trip costs about $27,000 and the club received a healthy boost from this year’s Rip the Runway show. Roughly 800 tickets were sold for the show, the most ever in its four-year history. The show netted the club nearly $4,000 for the trip, Reilly said, bringing the group’s funds raised to about $5,000.
For Wilson, this year’s international conference will be her second one in as many years. Last year, she attended the international conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Wilson said the conference offers an opportunity for students to bond with other DECA members, present themselves in front of business people and travel to cities they might not otherwise have the chance to visit.
“It was just an overall experience that I wouldn’t get if I wasn’t here,” Wilson said.
Donations and sponsorships for the trip are still being accepted. Payments can be made to NHS DECA and mailed to Naugatuck High School, 543 Rubber Ave., Naugatuck, CT 06770 Attn.: DECA, Tim Reilly Advisor. Club members will also be collecting funds over the next month in front of Walmart, Dunkin Donuts and Stop & Shop in Naugatuck.
For more information, email Reilly at email@example.com.
See more photos here.