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FCCLA competes at state

The FCCLA students, along with advisor Melissa Isaacs and chaperone Amanda Harter, traveled to Dallas earlier this month to compete in the state conference. Seven of the eight teams advanced to state from the regional conference.

“It was nice that most of us made it to state,” FCCLA competitor Makayla Gilliam said. “But I would have liked for our whole chapter to be state bound.”

With multiple school activities on, just getting to Dallas proved to be a challenge. Isaacs had trouble finding a driver until Jimmy Richardson stepped in.

“Mrs. Isaacs came to me in panic mode, asking for a driver,” Richardson said. “I told her I was more than happy to take her group to Dallas.”

National Programs in Action competed on Thursday, so as soon as they arrived to the hotel, the group worked on preparing themselves for their competition. They worked on last-minute touch ups and mental preparation.

“When we arrived to the hotel we set up for a last minute run through,” senior Maggie Medina said. “My teammates and I practiced all night.”

The rest of the teams didn’t compete until Friday.

“We were glad we competed on Friday,” junior Lupita Martinez said. “Although it did let the tension build, we had more time to practice.”

All the competitors had a busy schedule. If they weren’t competing, they were helping with setup, room consulting, or giving pointers and advice about presentations of their teammates.

“Ms. Isaacs kept us busy throughout the conference,” freshmen Lindsey Gonzalez said. “We helped a chef set up for Culinary Arts.”

The students also assisted judges from different competitions with timing or calling in teams. Some of the events the students assisted in were Promote and Publicize FCCLA, Hospitality and Tourism,Culinary Arts, Life Event Planning and Job Interview.

“At first we were upset with Miss Isaas for volunteering us to assist in these events on our day off,” junior Jenifer Dominguez said. “But later on our opinion changed because we got to experience different events that we weren’t familiar with.”  

By assisting in various events, the students were able to see the competition in a different light. They got to see what the the judges do and say before, during and after a team’s presentation.

“Being in those rooms gave me a chance to experience a different view,” freshman Dayani Compean said. “I was able to see what the judges like and dislike, also I realized that the judges aren’t so scary after all.”

After a busy few days, students were nervous about event results. Only the top two teams in each event would advance to national competition.

“We’ve all been having fun that we almost forgot what we were there for,” freshman Betsy Martinez siad. “But later on Friday night we started getting nervous and emotional because the results had come in.”

Students were disappointed to find they had no teams advancing to the national conference.

“When results came in we were all silent and looked in our section to see if we placed,” junior Iveth Molina said. “The results we got devastated us.”

They tried not to be too discouraged, though.

“Many of us were in a room together waiting anxiously for results,” junior Lasundra Robinson said. “We were making jokes about not making it, just to break tension, so when I saw the results I started laughing and made a joke about it in order to not become sad.”

Although the teams worked hard and were prepared for this conference, there were many schools from around the state that were also well prepared.

“I honestly felt good about our presentation because at regionals we had placed first,” junior Lupita Martinez said. “But I have to give my team credit because we competed with many talented teams and we gave it our all.”

Even though FCCLA didn’t come back with awards they came back with memories, bonds, friendships, experiences, techniques for next year and very proud teachers.  

“I am so proud of all the kids, and I know Miss Isaacs is too,” Harter said. “We had a new team and they all did very good; We couldn’t have asked for more.”

For FCCLA officer Chelsea Harter, this conference was her last one with FCCLA. Chelsea was awarded a scholarship.

“I am definitely going to miss FCCLA,” Chelsea Harter said. “I was given a scholarship that is only given to those who are going to college to major in FCS Education,”

FCCLA hasn’t stopped because of the state conference, Isaacs has many upcoming  activities for the members. She plans to take her students to many more conferences so that they can learn many techniques that will help them reach their goal for next year, the national conference in Anaheim, California.

“I have so much more planned for them,” Isaacs said. “We have conferences and meetings that I am looking forward to taking them to.”