Elkin High School recently took nine students to the national FCCLA competition in San Antonio, Texas, representing Elkin in grand fashion in all categories.
Accompanying the students were Family Career and Community Leaders of America Advisors Kali Teague, Robin Hooper and Career and Technical Education Director Barbara Long.
As the first Elkin High School student to ever represent the FCCLA in a national nominating capacity, Ellie Hooper, the past North Carolina State president served as the North Carolina representative on the National Elections Nominating Committee.
Advisor and Elkin High School Family and Consumer Science teacher, Teague, said Hooper stepped up to serve in a huge responsibility and “did an amazing job.”
The process was strenuous and involved a month’s preparation ahead of time, just to read applicant submissions, said Teague.
During the process, Hooper interviewed 30 national officer candidates. It involved a secretive and strenuous process that eventually brought about the election of 10 national FCCLA officers in the high profile position.
In addition, gold and silver were clinched by Elkin students in a competition of 4,200 participants in Students Taking Action with Recognition events.
Emma Aldridge and Kenya Easter brought home gold in a project of transforming donated sweaters into hats and giving them to children at the local ARK Shelter in the Chapter Service Display event.
Courtney Cobler and Kristen Kartes clinched silver when they competed in the National Programs in Action event for their project informing students on the dangers associated with tanning.
They partnered with Elkin dermatologist Dr. Andrew Lee to obtain information and statistics related to the topic for the award-winning project.
Newly-elected North Carolina State Vice President of Membership Hannah Freeman represented Elkin High School FCCLA by attending many national-level trainings regarding membership. In addition, she attended the state officer academy training. Freeman also assisted in leading two FCCLA state meetings held while in Texas.
Georgia Longworth, Makayla Dimmette and Rebekah Cranford served in the capacity as student judges for many of the competitions and participated in the Leadership Academy Training at the conference.
The theme of this year’s conference was “SOAR.”
Teague said, “Attendees were challenged to go beyond what was expected of them to make lasting, positive impressions in their families, schools and communities.”
The National Leadership Conference is designed to provide opportunities for students and advisors to come together for fun, listen to inspiring speakers, and expand leadership skills, said Teague.
The group of students representing Elkin at the national conference have helped set a fever and one that is contagious for the program, said Teague.
She added, “It can only grow.” Last year they only took four students but this year sent nine to the nationals.
While in San Antonio, she said they went to Sea World, walked the River Walk and tried all different types of restaurants. The authentic Tex-Mex ranked high on the Elkin students’ list as the best found in Texas, said Teague.
Teague said in addition to leadership meetings during the school year, they have fun and food socials, and a place for everyone to fit in to their own particular niche.
The only requirement to join FCCLA is to sign up, to take or to have taken the Family and Consumer Science elective class. Freshman are eligible to join if they take the elective class, said Teague. She said students may seek out her or Robin Hooper if interested.
Teague said the FCCLA originally was founded on family principles and extends now into the world of business also. Whether in a home or executive world, skills for organization and leadership are helpful and stand the test of longevity, she said.
CTE Director Barbara Long speaking about the conference and FCCLA said, “The students were very well behaved and represented Elkin well. I was proud to be part of the group.”
Long said after doing a follow-up survey of CTE students one year after graduation, one of the things that they overwhelmingly agree on is that belonging to a CTE student organization, such as FCCLA, was an “important part of their high school experience.”
The CTE director added that it is opportunities such as those found in the FCCLA that help make students future leaders and provide lasting memories of their high school years.
Tanya Chilton may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @TanyaTDC.