Five years after establishing a business training program at Payson High School, teacher Joe Parone was honored as the Arizona Marketing Educator of the Year at the Arizona Career and Technical Education (ACTEAZ) Summer Conference.
In 2008, Parone set up the PHS marketing program and DECA chapter, which is an international association with 207,000 members.
Superintendent Greg Wyman noted, “Payson Unified is so proud of Mr. Parone and all he represents as an educator. He is one more example of the outstanding teachers we have in the district. I can’t think of a better person to represent Arizona as marketing teacher of the year.”
The Arizona Department of Education also awarded the Payson marketing program an “exemplary program” rating in 2013-14 for every category monitored, a first for any program in the state.
The marketing students have attained the highest average scores in the state on the Entertainment Marketing Program assessment test the past two years, with students placing first or second highest in three of the past four years. They consistently win awards at regional, state and international DECA conferences.
Two students placed seventh in the world at the 2014 DECA International Conference.
Parone stresses service and fundraising in the program, with a chance to do real-world work. In November 2013, Parone’s students traveled to Chinle to put on a competition workshop for two Native American DECA chapters that wanted assistance.
His DECA chapter sells ads for the annual PHS Course Description Guide. His students’ marketing skills have raised enough money locally to fully pay the Guide’s production costs for the last three years and have expanded the Guide from 19 to 40 pages.
DECA also supports other organizations by making donations to FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) as well as designing and printing banners and posters for STUGO (Student Government), FFA (Future Farmers), Payson Choral Society, STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math), FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America), and the baseball, basketball and wrestling teams.
The Payson DECA chapter has maintained a top 5 percent national ranking with its Escrip fundraising program through a partnership with Payson Safeway. Parone has also applied for and won Safeway corporate grants that allow his students to take field trips to major corporations to learn about their marketing strategies. The marketing program is also active in a partnership with the Payson High School athletic department.
Parone also helped launch the Payson High School Student Ambassador program and splits his time teaching and serving as the CTE/NAVIT coordinator for the district. He also earned the title of Arizona Marketing Educator’s New Educator of the Year in 2009-10 and the Arizona DECA Rising Star award in 2012.
He has taught for 35 years and his students are working at places like Go Daddy and Bass Pro Shop, running their own businesses and attending a variety of colleges and universities.
PHS Principal Brian Mabb observed: “Mr. Parone is a passionate and dedicated teacher. He loves his content and more importantly his students. We are proud to have him recognized as the Arizona Marketing Teacher of the Year.”
Parone said he felt “humbled and honored” by this award, made even more special in that “it came from my fellow marketing teachers.”