State state state

FCCLA participants return to second level of competition for third year in a row


Participants holding their awards.

Alissa Stehle, Staff Writer

For the third year in a row, all FCCLA STAR Event and Spotlight on Project competitors are advancing to the state level of competition in Dallas on April 4-6.

“I thought all of the teams’ projects were strong and that they would do well,” FCCLA Advisor Korrey Paige said. “We were all very excited to bring home first and second place awards in every event.”

To advance, students create a project that positively impacts students and the community. When their project is completed, they put together a presentation which includes a 10-minute speech that they present to judges. Needless to say, there is a lot of preparation that goes into presenting their projects.

“The week before regionals we practiced our speech any chance we got,” sophomore Josette Villanueva said. “A lot of hard work was put into this project, such as staying after school, coming in during lunch and rehearsing our speech several times to perfect it. Once the week of regionals hit, we grew more and more stressed, but we were definitely confident in ourselves because of all of the hard work we put in.”

While presenting, the judges look for how well a project is put together, how well the community was reached and involved and how well the speech describes the project.

“When my group was trying to reach the community, we wanted to spread the message to our peers to accept themselves and create a positive environment for everyone who feels self conscious about themselves,” senior Rosa Gonzales said.

There are many categories within STAR Events. Each event has different specifications that the competitors must follow.

“I competed in Illustrated Talk Junior which requires a lot of community involvement and visuals,” freshman Kendall Marek said. “My project was to help younger kids learn about keeping their teeth healthy and strong and trying to spread the word.”

Out of the five teams that competed for STAR Events, there were only three people who have competed in it before: seniors Abigail Kohlleppel and Rosa Gonzales and sophomore Amanda Byrd.

“Although only three of the 11 competitors have competed in the STAR events before, we held all students to high expectations and they all succeeded,” FCCLA Advisor Madeline Stuebing said. “These students found something they believed in and taught or spread awareness of various topics. They are a wonderful group and are all self motivated.”

With only three returners for the STAR Events, this meant the newcomers had to step up and give their best effort.

“I was really nervous that we wouldn’t meet the expectations of everyone else,” freshman Karma Herring said. “We did really well, and now that we are all going to state, it feels great that no one is left out.”

For Kohlleppel, this is her fourth year advancing to the state competition. She received first place in Entrepreneurship Senior with her project called “Farmhaus Cafe and Bakery”.

“Qualifying for state four years in a row is quite the honor,” Kohlleppel said. “I have learned so many new things and have gained new experiences thanks to FCCLA. I am so grateful to have joined four years ago and to have started my participation in STAR Events.”

Since junior Amy Bailey is the VP of Achievement Region Officer, she could not compete in a STAR Event. This opened up the opportunity for her to compete in Spotlight on Projects. She competed in the Community Service category.

“Honestly, it felt amazing being a region officer for the last time,” Bailey said. “Being in office has brought many great opportunities and experiences, and being able to recognize individuals who better themselves and their community is amazing.”

Spotlight on Projects is where someone creates a project, decorates a board that goes with it and displays it for the judges. There is a delegation vote on each of the projects for each category.

“My project, ‘Super Luke,’ was based on my second grade teacher’s son who recently passed due to Medulloblastoma, a cancerous tumor that starts in the brain and is a common childhood cancer,” Bailey said. “I put out eight donation jars at eight different locations to raise money and donate it to St. Jude’s Research Hospital in honor of him.”

Overall, the FCCLA competitors did not leave the competition short-handed for the third year in a row.

“Our students were prepared, confident and motivated,” Mrs. Stuebing said. “It’s great to see the weight on their shoulders lifted.”

STAR Event Results:

Freshmen Kelli Geyer, Karma Herring and Kendall Marek: First Place in Illustrated Talk Junior. Project Title: Live Happily Without Cavities.

Sophomores Caitlyn Breiten and Josette Villanueva: Second Place Illustrated Talk Senior. Project Title: Giving Back With A Pack

Sophomores Amanda Byrd and Jamie Courtade: Second Place Interpersonal Communications Senior. Project Title: Teen Suicide.

Seniors Ismael Vera, Rosa Gonzales and Dulce Rodriguez: First Place National Programs in Action. Project Title: Tame the Shame

Senior Abigail Kohlleppel: First Place Entrepreneurship Senior. Project Title: Farmhaus Café and Bakery.

Spotlight on Projects:

Both projects are advancing to the state competition.

Junior Amy Bailey: Community Service. Project Title: Super Luke

Seniors Ismael Vera, Rosa Gonzales and Dulce Rodriguez also submitted their STAR Event project into the Spotlight on Projects under Student Body. Project Title: Tame the Shame


Region V Officers Charlize Benavidez and Amy Bailey also earned new officer positions. VP of Correspondence and VP of Achievement, respectively.