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Chantilly Students Win Marketing Honors

Thanks to two Chantilly High School seniors, a Herndon sporting goods store has gained 10 swim teams as bathing-suit customers.

The store gained the teams because the pair organized two swimsuit fashion shows for it. As a result of putting on the shows and other work they did, in March Kim Sorensen and Kristina Dorough won first place in the Creative Marketing Project category of a state-wide high school marketing competition.

ALSO IN March, Chantilly junior Nicole Imhof won election to be the reporter for the competition’s sponsor, Virginia DECA. As the reporter she will put together the organization’s newsletter and provide information about its membership to its president, vice president and national organization.

Nationwide DECA promotes the study of marketing among high school students.

Kim, Kristina and Nicole study under L. Shane Thomas. Thomas said he was proud of all three students. He noted that Nicole will be the first Virginia DECA officer in the high school’s history.

Kim and Kristina started their project in September or October of 2005. In a 30- page paper required by the competition, they had to describe the store’s background and analyze the store’s business problems. Additionally they sent out a questionnaire and, in the paper, analyzed the data. Finally, in the paper they made recommendations for changes to the store.

In February the store, Cassel’s Sports and Awards, moved from the Franklin Glen Shopping Center to a 30,000 square foot Herndon site. Kim and Kristina spent more than 100 hours assisting the store with the move.

They also put a lot of time into promoting and planning for the two swimsuit fashion shows held on Feb. 25. The two shows were standing room only, said Elaine Clark, swim team saleswoman for Cassel’s.

"They did a fantastic job," Clark said. "It was an experience for both the kids and us."

"It was a lot of hard work — like, more than we expected," Kristina said. "But in the end it was worth it."

Chantilly High offers five marketing classes and a co-op program where students can work in marketing while attending high school.