FCCLA headed to nationals


National Qualifiers which include Abigail Kohlleppel, Kelli Geyer, Karma Herring, and Kendall Marek.

Karli Geyer, Staff Writer

For the third year in a row, senior Abigail Kohlleppel advanced to the national level after competing at the state FCCLA Competition. Freshmen Kelli Geyer, Karma Herring, and Kendall Marek have also advanced with their project “Live Happily Without Cavities.”

“It’s really exciting to advance to nationals with my partners because we worked so hard to get there,” Marek said. “I’m really looking forward to it.”

Both the freshmen girls and Kohlleppel placed first in each of their categories. There were 15 other projects in the category Illustrated Talk Junior, and 25 other projects in Entrepreneurship Senior, respectively.

“When they announced third and it wasn’t us, we knew we had made it to nationals,” Herring said. “Then when they said we got first place we all started crying because we were so happy.”

Kohlleppel’s project was titled “Farmhaus Cafe and Bakery.” She was to create a business plan and portfolio from start to finish.

“Eventually I want to own a cafe and bakery,” Kohlleppel said. “Competing in this category gave me a chance to get a head start on planning my future business.”

“Abby is the first member of FCCLA to advance to state for four consecutive years,” FCCLA Adviser Madeline Steubing said. “Not only did she made it to state, but she has also placed each year.” Kohlleppel currently holds the school record for this accomplishment.

The freshmen girls’ project was presented to over 500 people. They focused on dental health by reaching out to the community and students.

“We realized that a lot of people probably do not have good dental health,” Geyer said. “We wanted to help those people really understand just how important it is and the impact it has on their everyday lives.”

A unique aspect was that these girls were roommates at every competition that involved an overnight stay. They will also be rooming together for the national competition in California.

“It has been fun rooming with freshman because my freshman year I roomed with seniors, and I felt like they left me with their wisdom of competing in Star Events,” Kohlleppel said. “Staying with the girls was super fun for me. We created memories I will keep with me forever.”

Sophomores Amanda Byrd and Jamie Courtade also placed at state. They were fifth out of 25 competitors with their project “Teen Suicide.”

“Our project helped us get the word out about suicide and its causes,” Byrd said. “Jamie and I felt like it was an important topic that needed to be talked about.”

Other state qualifiers included sophomores Caitlyn Breiten and Josephine Villanueva with their project, “Giving Back with a Pack,” and seniors Ismael Vera, Rosa Gonzales and Dulce Rodriguez with their project, “Tame the Shame.”

“Overall Texas has really stepped up their game in standards which has increased competition tremendously,” Mrs. Steubing said. “With that being said, our students did an outstanding job. They all felt very confident and had great reviews from the judges.”

Region V officers, Amy Bailey and Charlize Benavidez, will also be attending nationals to help the Texas delegation with their assigned tasks. Benavidez will be serving on the nominating committee for the national officers, which makes her the fourth Regional officer in Devine to be on the voting committee.

“Going to nationals will be awesome because this will be my first time traveling to California,” Benavidez said. “It will be so much fun to be going with FCCLA as well.”

Nationals will take place in Anaheim, California, from June 30 through July 5. To wrap up the year, there will be an FCCLA showcase and FCS fashion show on May 23 at the DSAC at 6:00 in the evening.

The group that attended the state conference.

“The community is more than welcome to come,” Mrs. Steubing said. “This will be where the students in FCS show off their creations and members of FCCLA will present their projects. It’s going to be great.”


National Qualifiers which include Abigail Kohlleppel, Kelli Geyer, Karma Herring, and Kendall Marek.