FCCLA students advance to state


Madeline Smyser and Linnea Kennedy

On Jan. 27, FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) competed in the Region V Star Event Competition in Corpus Christi. Camille DiGiaimo, Brandi Killingsworth, Tate Watson, Tara Hazel, Arielle Rodriguez, Saige Prucha, Hannah Eslick, Anna Batalova, and Dahyeok Jang all placed in the top six of their respective categories and advanced to state.

“The students who chose to compete in FCCLA Star Events made the decision to compete around October,” FCCLA sponsor Deanna Bentley said. “Then they started getting teams together, choosing which category they wanted to compete in and what their project would be. So it has been a long process to work on these projects.”

In this competition, students work on, and then present their projects for a panel of judges.

“I was given a scenario to redesign this couple’s new home,” interior design first  place winner Saige Prucha said. “I had to put in design elements, principle of design, and just create a space that was both craftsman style and modern.”

The students, however, couldn’t have done it without the help of their mentors and sponsors, Mrs. Bentley and Mrs. Jacobsen, the Family and Consumer Sciences teachers.

“I helped them prepare by making sure that they were creating quality, professional presentations,” Bentley said. “Everything from what they were wearing for their presentation to their display boards. Ours from Vandegrift really were outstanding compared to other schools in our region. They did lots of practicing of their presentations during PIT and their class time, where they had opportunities to get feedback from their peers.”

Through the process of working, editing, and practicing, the FCCLA students found success – something they attribute purely to hard work.

“I just put so much time and effort into it,” Prucha said. “It took forever to do and I put every sweat and tear into this project. And then I guess I just have a thing for design.”

Beyond the FCCLA competitors, there are two students who participated in this process. These students, Joshua Sharp and Ally Cuellar, did not prepare projects of their own, but assisted the participants.

“As a VP of Star Events,” Sharp said, “I majorly contribute to managing and assisting our chapter’s competitors. During the FCCLA competition, I helped critique and improve each individual’s presentation and I helped make sure they arrived at their competition during the required time.”

State is April 6-8 in Dallas. There, the participants will compete against the top six from all the other regions in Texas.

“I really think that several of these teams could advance to nationals,” Bentley said. “We’ve had students in the past advance to nationals. This year, nationals are in Nashville, Tennessee. I’ve already told them we may be taking a trip to Nashville.”