Elkin FCCLA members win big at state; some will go to nationals

By Tanya Chilton tchilton@civitasmedia.com

April 23, 2014

Five Elkin High School students brought home gold, and two silver, after nine members of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) attended the state leadership conference in Greensboro on March 30-April 2. Several will represent North Carolina at the FCCLA national conference this summer.

Also at the conference, Barbara Long, Elkin City Schools Career and Technical Education director, was awarded the North Carolina FCCLA Outstanding Administrator of the Year award, and Elkin High student Ellie Hooper led the conference as state president and was awarded the “Order of the Rose” award.

Elkin High School Family and Consumer Services teacher and advisor Kali Teague said Hooper presided over all the general sessions, and fulfilled all duties as set forth by the state advisor. The Order of the Rose award was given to Hooper for “going above and beyond her duties as a state officer,” said Teague.

Elkin High students Kenya Easter and Emma Aldridge claimed gold after they took first place in the chapter service display category. They conducted a “sweater drive,” and then repurposed them into tobaggans for children who live at the Ark, a center for the homeless and abused women in Elkin. They were selected to move on to represent North Carolina where they will compete at the FCCLA conference this summer in San Antonio, Texas.

Also claiming gold were Elkin High students Makayla Dimmette, Rebekah Cranford and Ellie Hooper, who competed in category of chapter in review. They entered with a Dr. Seuss-themed scrapbook and presentation. It served as a summary of Elkin FCCLA’s activities throughout the year. With the honor, they were selected to travel to San Antonio where they will serve as judges for the national competition.

Elkin High students Kristen Kartes and Courtney Cobler won silver medals in the national programs in action event after their extensive research on the risk of tanning for teenagers.For the project, they consulted with Dr. Andrew Lee, an Elkin dermatologist. They presented their results to different classes, explaining the risks of tanning to audiences. After placing second in the state, they also earned the opportunity to represent North Carolina as judges in San Antonio.

Elkin High student Georgia Longworth attended the conference and served in a judge capacity. She judged the competition event called Food Innovations. Longworth is also set to compete on the Elkin High School Culinary team on April 11 at Johnson and Wales University.

Hannah Freeman was elected to serve as a state officer for the 2014-2015 year after she was appointed the position of vice president of membership. Teague said Freeman’s tasks in the coming year will focus mainly on increasing active membership statewide.

Teague said FCCLA is a national student organization that helps young men and women become leaders and addresses important personal, family, work, and societal issues through Family and Consumer Sciences Education. Membership has more than doubled in size in the last year, said Teague. Elkin High School lists 45 members.

The Elkin FCCLA chapter is led by Family and Consumer Sciences teachers and advisers, Kali Teague, Robin Hooper and Long.

Teague added, “FCCLA is unique among youth organizations because its programs are planned and run by student members. It is also the only student-led organization with the family as its central focus.”

The organization has involved more than 10 million youth since its founding as Future Homemakers of America in 1945.

Teague was a state officer of FCCLA when she went to Tuscola High School. “It made me who I am today, it made me able to do what I do today,” said Teague.

She said it has evolved into a heavy focus on leadership in all areas of life balance including family, work, and school. She said learning to prioritize is one of the most fundamental lessons for balance and leadership and the FCCLA focuses on that area.

“The cool thing is there is something for everybody, males and females can find their niche,” said Teague.

Advocacy skills, teamwork skills, public skills, part of the fundamentals of Future Homemakers of America had to evolve into what a modern world requires now in the areas especially of balancing work and home, she added.

Tanya Chilton may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @TanyaTDC.