By Gabby Delpleash

Senior Libby Strathman serves as the president of The Catty Shack school store and the DECA team. Though Strathman is consistently putting in copious amounts of work within school hours to lead the business department, her leadership can be overshadowed by leaders of higher prominence.

Senior Libby Strathman sets new bar for the business department

Strathman's ability to bring people together has brought in success for The Catty Shack school store and DECA team

A common place to go and escape the stress of school during seminar is The Catty Shack; a place where warm faces, such as Catty Shack President senior Libby Strathman, are there to greet students and take their order.

This is Strathman’s first year serving The Catty Shack after getting a counselor recommendation. 

“I talked to [my counselor] about joining [the Catty Shack team].” Strathman said, “I hadn’t really ever taken any business classes or anything, but [The Catty Shack and DECA sponsor Dianna Heffernon-Myers] said it was fine and let me join and I really liked it.”  

Unlike past years, this is the entire staff’s first year running The Catty Shack. For Heffernon-Myers, Strathman has been able to step into the leadership position to make them successful, despite the lack of experience.  

“She’s not afraid to just jump in and try something and if it doesn’t work, then we try something else.” Heffernon-Myers said. “She just has this self confidence and this spirit that’s contagious.”

The team culture cultivated within this group of people is one of the standout aspects of the business department. To DECA President, and Catty Shack employee, junior Sofia Steinmetz, Strathman’s determined and organized personality is the glue that keeps The Catty Shack together.

“She’s really helped us come together and just keep us calm when things get stressful,” Steinmetz said. “I think her personality just keeps everything in check.” 

At this point, The Catty Shack has produced more revenue than ever before. But, this success didn’t come without its challenges. For Strathman, the greatest challenge was the learning curve.

“Everything we do, I’m just going off my gut instinct a little bit,” Strathman said. “There’s not really any precedent to follow. So that’s definitely challenging.”

Strathman’s success is not limited to The Catty Shack. She is also involved with the DECA team. At tournaments, she competes in marketing events where, after completing a test, you are given a scenario that you need to come up with a marketing strategy for and present to a judge. 

To Heffernon-Myers, Strathman has “raised the bar” for the DECA program after winning state and qualifying for nationals her first year competing.  

According to Heffernon-Myers, Strathman’s intelligence and interpersonal skills give her the capabilities to be a leader and connect with everyone she encounters.

“She’s just delightful; the day is better when she walks [in].” Heffernon-Myers said. “If you’re having a bad day and Libby walks through the door, you’re not having a bad day anymore.”

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