September Club Student of the Month: Ashley M.


Leona Gagalac, Editor

For FTHS’ first club student of the month for this year, senior Ashley M. was awarded the honor for September! As vice president of our school’s DECA chapter, Ashley was recognized for her leadership, dedication, and initiative towards the business and entrepreneur organization. With in-person activities slowly making their gradual return at Township, student leaders are the driving forces behind getting clubs and extracurricular activities up and running again. Ashley clearly embodies the leadership qualities it takes to help a club, like DECA, succeed.

To start off, congratulations on being awarded Club Student of the Month for October!
– Thank you so much!

How did it feel to hear your name over the loudspeaker this morning?
– It was great. I was kind of shocked. I have worked so hard and am happy to be appreciated.

Going to why you won this award, what is your experience in DECA like? Why do you think you won the award?
– I think I won the award because I put so much effort into the club, and it’s just been a great club to be involved in. I’ve truly enjoyed collaborating with other business students.

As a leader in DECA, what are the biggest objectives of the Township chapter?
– Our goal in DECA is to provide business students with an understanding of what DECA is, so if they want to do anything with business in their future, they have the background they need. Plus, they can meet other students with the same interests.

What are your goals as a chapter as we return to more in-person activities, especially after a Covid-19 year?
– My biggest goal is to continue to increase the number of active DECA members. I want to make sure other students in school know how much this club has to offer them. With luck, we can again have students qualify for the state competition.

What are some opportunities that can possibly come up this year that weren’t able to happen last year?
– We were able to already run a widely successful food drive to help our community food pantry. Also, we’re hoping to go on a few trips and get some guest speakers to talk to our members.

Ooh… when it comes to planning these events and activities, what is the executive board’s thought process? I know your brother, Alex, is on the board too, so how do you guys and the rest of the leaders collaborate?
– I think we’re such a great team because [Alex] is president and I’m vice president, so we’re all able to bounce ideas off of each other. I’m really glad we are able to hold positions together because we do work well together. If one of us has an idea or needs a different perspective, it’s great that we collaborate. In addition, our entire executive board also works very well together. It’s just nice to have others with similar views and goals who I have a great relationship with.

I agree, having people that you know makes any job easier to do. As vice president, what does being a leader mean to you?
– Being a leader means that people look up to you, and that you have to be able to guide people through their tasks.

Reflecting on your past three years at FTHS, what was your favorite experience you got to do through DECA?
– My favorite experience was going to Kean University sophomore year. It was such fun because I got to learn about business with my friends. We got to do different role plays and go through different business scenarios, so I got to spend the whole day doing something I’d like to do in my future – business.

To tie all of this up, what advice would you give to your freshman-year self as a senior?
– I would say put yourself out there. It’s a great start to join clubs and get involved. This way, you can have a group to go through high school with. Even if it’s not a freshman to senior year thing, you can still have the opportunity to meet people.

Thanks to Ashley M. and good luck with DECA for the rest of the school year!

Here’s what Mrs. Rowohlt, DECA’s advisor, had to say about Ashley:

“Ashley was instrumental for DECA in the month of September! Without being asked, she made the display board for the Activities Fair and volunteered for 3 blocks that day. She completely organized DECA’s food drive as well! She has also been participating in board meetings and has been trying to find fundraising activities.”