Sanderson FCCLA Springs into Competition Season

Past Sanderson FCCLA members compete at in-person STAR Events.

Ashley Taylor

Past Sanderson FCCLA members compete at in-person STAR Events.

  For Sanderson’s FCCLA Chapter, the spring competition season is a busy and bustling time. From categories like Interior Design to Baking and Pastry, officers and members alike will find themselves enthusiastically preparing their presentations.

  FCCLA is a national organization that stands for “Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America.” Sanderson’s chapter consists of roughly 55 members, solidifying a place among the largest clubs at the school. FCCLA is devoted to offering various opportunities to members to help them grow their leadership skills, such as service projects and competitive events.

  “[Competing] is a big commitment and project, however, it can also be a lot of fun,” admits FCCLA Adviser and Sanderson CTE teacher Ashley Taylor, “When we aren’t presenting projects we are making memories as a chapter.”

  The majority of competitive events are held during the spring semester, including STAR Events– which stands for “Students Taking Action with Recognition.” It furnishes a platform for students to showcase their skills learned in the classroom as well as leadership skills learned in FCCLA. Contestants can compete at both state and national levels. 

  “All STAR Events allow students to identify an issue concerning family, community, or school,” explains Taylor, “Students then research the topic and develop and implement a project to advocate for a positive change.”

  Over 30 STAR Event projects are offered to students, including topics from many different CTE courses. “[There’s] too many to name!” remarks Shelby Lesley, who is also an FCCLA Adviser at Sanderson, “It’s important to have these categories to fit a diverse group of career pathways.” This year, five students are competing in Interior Design, Chapter Showcase, Power of One (Early Childhood Ed), and more.

  FCCLA member Kennedy Guy has been preparing an Interior Design project to submit to the competition. For the past few months, she has been meeting with Interior Design teacher Mrs. Lesley, who has guided her through the process of making selections for a client scenario. “I get to express myself and really find out if interior design is something I want to pursue when I’m older,” shares sophomore Guy, “I’m very nervous… I have never done something like this in my life.”

  Officers of the club are required to compete in the competitive events. FCCLA Vice President and junior Starianna Mehrer elaborates on what the STAR Events mean to her as an officer. “Leadership is one of the main focuses of FCCLA, when students take their time planning, implementing their project and evaluating it before turning it in, they develop skills needed to take the lead in careers, families, and communities.”

  In a normal year, students would compete in-person at the state competition in Greensboro. This year, however, participants will submit a video of themselves presenting their projects. Adviser Lesley shares the challenges of creating these presentations with students online, “From a teacher perspective it has been a challenge to assist students via Google Meet, especially with hands-on projects.”

  Students have also expressed their frustration with the virtual setting. “It looks like it will be more difficult to compete online than in person,” mentions Mehrer, “I’m sad that we can’t experience the in-person competition, but with the situation we’re in, I think it’s best.”