Goessel?s two entries earn gold at national FCCLA event

GHS FCCLAnutritionDuo

GHS FCCLAnutritionDuo GHS FCCLAShowcaseManual

Two pairs of Goessel High School students brought home the gold this summer.

Alex Hiebert and Tia Goert?zen and Kendra Flaming and Tori O?Brien earned top honors in their STAR Events at the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America National Leadership Conference in Anaheim, Calif., July 8-15.

?Gold is tough to get at nationals because the judges score a lot harder at nationals,? said Gina Andrews Bergin, who teaches family and consumer science at GHS and advises the local FCCLA chapter.

The four girls qualified to compete at nationals after advancing through the district level in February and the state level in April. In STAR Events?an acronym for Students Taking Action with Recognition? FCCLA members compete for chapter and individual projects that must meet specific criteria.

Alex and Tori will be juniors in fall while Kendra and Tia graduated in May.


Nutrition project

?Tia and Alex had really wanted to do a STAR Event focused on children,? Bergin said about their project, titled ?The Great Kindergarten Nutrition Expedition.?

Alex and Tia brainstormed with Bergin, then met with Goessel kindergarten teacher Sheri Janzen to talk about appropriate learning outcomes for her students. They then developed a four-day series of 35-minute lessons on nutrition.

?We used the safari theme to kind of help it be a little bit more fun for (the children),? said Alex, 16. ?We talked about protein, vegetables and fruit, so they would learn more about nutrition and help stay fit because of the obesity problem that is starting to spread throughout the United States.?

Using Eddie the Elephant, Mia the Monkey, Larry the Lion and Penelope the Panda, Alex said she and Tia taught the children healthy food choices.

?We had different pictures of items and (the children) had to choose between healthy and non-healthy items,? Alex said about their post-test to assess learning. ?That?s how we measured to see if they knew the difference.?

At Anaheim, the safari duo wore shorts, brown sandals and safari hats, Bergin said, as they explained their project to the three judges, who used a detailed rubric to evaluate the girls? knowledge about the content as well as their display board and oral presentation.

?Following their presentations, the evaluators will have five minutes to interview (the presenters),? she said. ?Part of their score is how well they respond to the questions asked them.?

All contestants who participate earn either a gold, silver or bronze award, Bergin said, adding that the girls are scored against the rubric?not each other.

Showcase manual

The project Kendra and Tori took on involved putting together an FCCLA chapter showcase manual.

?They start clear back in August, and we start taking pictures and writing captions for everything,? Bergin said. ?They came up with a theme. Their job for the whole year is to put this book together that shows what we?ve done throughout the entire year.?

The presenters chose the theme ?Hit the Road with FCCLA.?

?We had a border with road signs on every page, and then we added in both signs and different pictures,? Kendra, 18, said.

The active GHS chapter meant having a lot of activities to cover.

?One of the biggest challenges was trying to fit every single thing out of the whole year in 44 pages,? Kendra said, referring to the maximum length allowed.

At the conference, the girls were required to give a 15-minute presentation about their scrapbook.

?It was hard to get the speech under 15 minutes,? Kendra said. ?Like the first time it was 30 minutes. So it was kind of frustrating that we had worked all that time to write this really good speech because we added in all kind of details?. It was kind of sad to delete half the work we did.?

But the girls? diligence and preparation paid off when they explained their book to the judges, who award them high marks.

Strong adviser

Kendra attributed their successful showing at nationals to their adviser.

?Our adviser is awesome,? she said. ?Mrs. Bergin did so much work, and she deserves a lot of credit for all the help she gave us. We wouldn?t have been able to go to nationals without all her help and guidance.?

Bergin said this was the first time Goessel had taken on STAR Events in a few years.

?None of the kids who competed in STAR Events had done so before,? she said.

Besides competing at the conference, the girls also attended three general sessions along with the 6,500 members and their advisers from across the United States, as well as breakout sessions and a business session.

?The focus of our conference was leadership development, family living skills, cooperation and teamwork and communication,? Bergin said.

Conference experiences

While in Anaheim, the Goessel team also took an afternoon trip to Disneyland as well as a tour of Los Angeles.

For Kendra, attending the business session was a highlight.

?It was really interesting because just the organization was student-led,? she said. ?They composed amendments and different ones got up who spoke very passionately.?

Kendra said she saw in action what she had learned in her government class at school.

Alex appreciated the smaller sessions that were geared toward relevant topics such as texting and driving.

?My favorite part was going to different breakout sessions and meeting people and to interact with people from all over the country?not just from Kansas,? she said, ?and to be able to relate to different people that enjoy FCCLA as much as we do and to be able share that with them.?

To finance their attendance, the 31-member chapter held fundraising events throughout the year, such as selling candy-grams at Christmas and cookies for Valentine?s Day, Bergin said. Their biggest fundraiser was selling enchiladas.

?We made over 2,000 enchiladas,? she said, adding that the school and school board also helped with travel and registration costs.

Pathways connection

Bergin, who plans to implement an Early Childhood Development and Services pathway in fall, said the Career and Technical Education clusters program ties directly to FCCLA.

?I think the pathways work to get kids interested in something they could do as a future career,? she said. ?The STAR Event gives them sort of a mini-dose of what it would be like to be in that profession for the day or week, or however they choose to do that.?

One option that is being considered at the state level is using STAR Events as the capstone assessment for pathways in the Human Resources and Services cluster.

?I think this would be so much better because it gives the kids a hands-on experience as their capstone (assessment),? Bergin said.

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