DECA adviser steps back into role after three-year hiatus

Nathan Yuan and Cameron Rozek

Central business teacher Christine Bell will become DECA’s faculty sponsor next year. Bell is returning to the position after having resigned three years ago due to inadequate pay, she said.

“It’s just a huge stipend issue,” Bell said. “There’s major problems with the structure of the teacher stipends. It’s still there, but it is coming a little bit more to the forefront.”

Bell’s personal life also factored into her choice to take a break from DECA at that time.

“I was not getting support, the district doesn’t care. They don’t care,” Bell said. “And so I just said, ‘I had a lot of personal family stuff going on and my daughter was finishing up in college’ and I just thought, I’m going to take a break.”

Being the faculty sponsor for one of Central’s largest student groups was a lot of work, Bell said.

“At one time, our peak was about 166 members and I was the only adviser and it is a club that basically is year round,” Bell said. “Now we [go to] state for three days, two nights, but then you have to go to nationals. And we’ve been going to nationals for as long as I can remember, and that’s overnight and out of state. That’s five days, four nights. It’s meetings every week, [and] it’s a lot of paperwork at all levels. It’s just a tremendous amount of work.” 

“Part of my downfall is that I have a hard time telling students ‘no’.””

— Christine Bell, assistant DECA advisor

Ultimately, Bell decided she needed to take a break.

“Every year I put in like ‘we need help, we need help,’ I was told ‘you’re just doing too much. You’re just doing too much,’” Bell said. “That’s probably part of my downfall is that I have a hard time telling students no.”

In spite of everything, however, Bell  says she is excited to rejoin the club.

“I’m really just excited to start working with kids who are really interested in business now,” Bell said. “I have a lot of knowledge, a lot of connections and just even in my classes I teach. It’s connecting kids to real businesses and getting that real experience. It’s so important.”

Senior Alan Zhang enjoyed having Bell as his faculty adviser his freshman year.

“Mrs. Bell was more hands on [than Piket]. That’s not necessarily a bad or good thing,” Zhang said.