Probst’s organization, motivation allow him to lead Algonquin’s largest club


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Senior Paul Probst poses with DECA adviser Patricia Riley during the 2020 DECA State Career Development Conference in Boston. As president of the club, Probst is responsible for the chapter’s logistics for this conference.

Taylor Stevens, Staff Writer

Senior and DECA president Paul Probst is the glue that holds one of Algonquin’s largest clubs together with his organizational skills and ability to guide others.

DECA is a competitive career club offered by schools worldwide; Algonquin’s chapter consists of 340 members.

Freshman year, Probst began attending the informational meetings and participated in the Principles category, which is designed for new students.

“I didn’t think I’d go very far, but I ended up qualifying for the International level,” Probst said. 

This sparked a new level of effort and dedication for Probst. His sophomore year, former DECA adviser Cameron Martin recommended that Probst apply for a leadership position. 

“I wasn’t expecting to get the president’s spot, but I applied anyway and I got it,” Probst said. 

For Districts, Probst is in charge of running the individual events for all the schools in the area, whereas at States and Nationals he is just in charge of Algonquin’s rooms, transportation, activities and making sure things run smoothly.

“Ninety-five percent of what I do is just doing spreadsheets and the other five percent is yelling at kids,” Probst said. “It’s a lot. We’re running a chapter with hundreds of students so there’s a lot of different logistics that need to be handled.”

Probst said the biggest struggle he endures is “apathy.” 

“When you’re leading an organization run by volunteers, you need to be able to motivate people to do what you want and need them to do,” Probst said. 

If he could go back and change one thing about his DECA experience, Probst said he would have had more confidence in himself during his first year as president.

“He’s grown tremendously as a leader,” DECA adviser Patricia Riley said. “He didn’t start off confident but his confidence is through the roof now.”

According to Riley, Probst is one of the main reasons that DECA is such an effectively run organization. 

“He’s been like another adult for me by helping me stay calm and organized; his organizational skills are phenomenal,” Riley said. “His ability to interact with numbers is excellent, and people just respond well to him.” 

Probst has been an irreplaceable piece of the puzzle to Algonquin’s success in DECA over his two years of being president.  

“He’s just been instrumental to me and I joke about not wanting to continue without him,” Riley said.