School club to compete at national competition

The Signal Knob Middle School FCCLA chapter will move on to the national competition in California this summer. From left are Aubrey LeBlanc, 13; Jana Bowman, 13; Seaira Warnell, 13; Kassidy Anderson, 12; Amanda Overturf, 14; Randi Ball, 14; and Megan Hibner, family and consumer sciences teacher and FCCLA adviser. Kaley Toy/Daily

STRASBURG – Six Signal Knob Middle School students will be traveling to San Diego, California, this summer to compete in a national competition.

The school’s Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) students won first and second place at a state competition in Virginia Beach earlier this month, and six club members will going to nationals July 7-9, according to Megan Hibner, family and consumer sciences teacher and FCCLA adviser.

At the state competition, two groups presented projects to a panel of judges.

“There are a variety of topics they can choose from,” Hibner said. “One group did a chapter service project so they planned a project for our FCCLA chapter to do. And the other group did a life event planning where they planned a road trip to go visit colleges.”

Students prepared their projects based off a rubric given to them, she added. Next they presented the projects to judges at various competitions. The judges asked questions and provided feedback to improve their projects for later competitions.

Questions asked included:

• Why you chose this project?
• What would you change?
• What did you learn?
• What will you do with this is the future?
• How does it relate to family and consumer sciences?

The group presented at the state competition from April 7 to 10.

The service project group won first place gold and the life event planning group won second place gold for their work.

Randi Ball, 14, of Strasburg, said, they always had something to do while they were at the state competition.

“There was a lot to do but it was always enjoyable,” she said.

Kassidy Anderson, 12, of Strasburg, noted, “Competing was awesome.”

Jana Bowman, 13, of Strasburg, said, as a state officer for the group, “It was a really good experience for me because every time I run I get to grow as a person and get to meet new people and get a lot better at public speaking.”

Based off feedback given at the state level, the groups will be updating their projects for the national competition.

Jana said, “I’m excited to meet new people from all around the country and make friends.”

The students will participate in various fundraising projects to help fund their trip to San Diego. While in California, they plan to visit Disney Land.

Hibner said the FCCLA program isn’t just about family and consumer science. It also gives her students transferable skills that can be used in many other facets of life.

She has been working with FCCLA for almost two years and said it has been a great learning experience.

“I think the most rewarding part is just seeing the students grow and become stronger public speakers and stronger leaders through the program,” she said.

Jana said FCCLA has prepared her for the future.

“School prepares you for knowledge, but FCCLA prepares you for real world scenarios, like interviews, public speaking and common sense,” she said.

The students in the Signal Knob FCCLA are Jackie Elbon, 13; Aubrey LeBlanc, 13; Jana Bowman, 13; Seaira Warnell, 13; Kassidy Anderson, 12; Amanda Overturf, 14; and Randi Ball, 14, all from Strasburg.

Three students in Peter Muhlenberg Middle School’s FCCLA will be making the trip to San Diego as well.

Ashlee Sites, FCCLA advisor for Peter Muhlenberg Middle School, said, in the state competition, one student placed first with gold, two placed first and silver, and the rest of her students placed silver. The three first-place winners will be moving on to nationals.

This is the first year these seventh graders competed, she said. “[They] handled it very, very well.”

“They really prepared,” she said. “They went above and beyond.”

The students who will be moving on to nationals are Courtney France, 13, of Woodstock; Heather Raley, 13, of Edinburg; and Kaylin Jenkins, 13, of Woodstock.

The other students who competed at the state level were, Aryana Barb, 13, of Woodstock; Faith Dellinger, 13, of Edinburg; Faith Phillips, 14, of Woodstock; Shannon Nicely, 14, of Woodstock; and Myrka Padron, 13, of Woodstock.

To fund their trip to San Diego, the students are fundraising by selling gourmet peanuts and raffles, and holding a 5K run. The cost is approximately $1,500 for each student.

The Peter Muhlenberg FCCLA chapter also recently received the 2016 National Middle School Financial Fitness Award. They will be awarded $1,000 after creating a display for the national competition, Sites said.

Strasburg High School’s FCCLA will also be traveling to the national competition, said Heather Hiserman, Strasburg High School’s FCCLA advisor.

“We had a great weekend, and the hard work of my students really paid off,” she said.

She has 17 students going to the National Leadership Conference, with 14 competing in the National STAR Events competition:

Grace Davis, 15, Toms Brook; Kiana Carter, 15, Strasburg; Ashleigh Hockman, 16, Strasburg; Ashley Way, 17, Strasburg; Miley Hupp, 17, Strasburg; Abigail Murphy, 17, Strasburg; Heather Knave, 18, Strasburg; Kelsey Jenkins, 17, Strasburg; Kristin Hamman, 16, Woodstock; Morgan Knave, 16, Strasburg; Brooke Callaway, 17, Strasburg; Rachel Funkhouser, 18, Strasburg; Grace Dellinger, 15, Strasburg; and Rachel Palmer, 16, Toms Brook.

Central High School also placed at the state level and had the opportunity to move on to nationals.

Holly Roberts, FCCLA advisor at Central, said, all six FCCLA students earned silver medals at states.

“We had one group of three compete in Illustrated Talk, a duo compete in Chapter Service project, and one student compete independently in Job Interview,” she said.

Nakayla Irvin, 17, Edinburg, who participated in job interview finished second overall with the opportunity to compete at nationals, Roberts said. However, “due to a lot of back and forth on the funding side of the trip, she has decided not to attend.”

Contact staff writer Kaley Toy at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or ktoy@nvdaily.com