Local FCCLA groups receive awards in national competition

STRASBURG – Shenandoah County Public School’s Family, Career and Community Leaders of America placed at the national competition in San Diego this past month.

From July 7 to 9, students from Signal Knob Middle School, Peter Muhlenberg Middle School and Strasburg High School competed at the national level, winning multiple awards at the National FCCLA Leadership Conference.

Megan Hibner, family and consumer sciences teacher and FCCLA adviser for Signal Knob Middle School, said six of her students attended the competition. Five of her students competed in the Students Taking Action with Recognition (STAR) events and one was a state officer for FCCLA.

Her students were broken up into two groups, chapter service project portfolio and life event planning portfolio. Both groups were awarded gold medals.

Kassidy Anderson, Randi Ball, Amanda Overturf, Seaira Warnell, and Aubrey LeBlanc competed. Jana Bowman attended as a state officer.

“They went into it not knowing what to expect,” she said. “I picked one of the groups up and they came out of the room beaming ear to ear.”

For most of these students, this level of competition was new to them. Only one of the students has competed at the national level before.

“For most of them it was a completely new experience,” she said.

She said what was nice about this year’s competition was they had a state competition in Virginia Beach and then the national competition in San Diego, allowing the students to go from coast to coast.

“It was cool that they got to stick their feet in both coasts this year,” she added.

But they also got to experience more of what California had to offer during their week in the sunshine state.

“They were very, very excited. They had a great time,” she added.

She said while there, they spent time at Disneyland, had a trolley tour, stopped in Old Town San Diego, had an authentic Mexican meal, did some shopping and played in golden sand.

A few other Shenandoah County schools also participated in the trip to San Diego.

Students at Peter Muhlenberg Middle School also competed at the competition.

Ashlee Sites, FCCLA adviser for Peter Muhlenberg Middle School, said she took three students to the competition, Heather Raley, Courtney France and Kaylin Jenkins.

“We had a blast in San Diego for our FCCLA National Leadership and Recognition Conference,” she said.

She said one of her students completed a project in the National Programs in Action category. Her project was based on a distracted driving course that we held this past fall. She received a gold medal.

Her two other students completed a project in the Chapter in Review Portfolio category. Their project highlighted our activities and outreach that we accomplished during this past school year. These students received silver medals.

Peter Muhlenberg was also recognized as being the middle school Financial Fitness winner. They were presented with a plaque and a check for $1,000.

During their stay in San Diego, they also visited the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park and Disneyland. They also took a trolley tour, explored Sea Port Village and Gaslamp Quarter and went on a harbor dinner cruise.

Strasburg High School took 17 to the national competition, with 14 competing in the national STAR events, earning gold, silver and bronze medals.

Heather Hiserman, FCCLA adviser for Strasburg High School and teacher of nutrition and wellness, independent living, introduction to interior design and teachers for tomorrow, said all participants also attended a general session and workshops while also having the opportunity to network with FCCLA members from across the nation.

Kelsey Jenkins and Heather Knave competed in Chapter in Review Portfolio and received gold medals.

Ashleigh Hockman, Grace Davis and Kiana Carter competed in Promote and Publicize FCCLA and received gold medals.

Rachel Palmer and Grace Dellinger competed in Life Event Planning and received gold medals.

Abigail Murphy and Miley Hupp competed in Chapter in Review Display and earned silver medals.

Brooke Callaway and Rachel Funkhouser competed in Interpersonal Communications and earned silver medals.

Morgan Knave and Kristin Hamman competed in Environmental Ambassador and received silver medals.

Ashley Way competed in Advocacy and earned a bronze medal.

Kara Bowman, Morgan Knave, Ivy Warnell, Kelsey Jenkins, Abigail Murphy and Miley Hupp each served as STAR Event volunteers, giving at least eight hours to help make STAR Events happen.

Hiserman added that Michaela Amari, Virginia FCCLA first vice president, joined the other seven members of the State Executive Council, as they led the Virginia FCCLA delegation of more than 325 members. The estimated total conference attendance was 8,500. Michaela also completed the Leadership Academy, which is a series session that focused on specific leadership, communication and teamwork. She also served as a voting delegate for the state of Virginia.

She added that her students also enjoyed local attractions, such as a trolley ride, visited the San Diego Zoo, went on a harbor boat cruise and spent a day at Disneyland. Fourteen of her members also participated in Run4Red, a 5K event focused on getting active.

Central High School also qualified for the national event but was unable to send anyone to the competition.

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