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FCCLA chapter winners at state, head to nationals

The high school FCCLA chapter received multiple honors at the state leadership meeting in Athens over the weekend.

SCHS received “Chapter Recognition” and was one of the “Honor Roll Chapters,” while a member was elected as a state vice president for Family, Career and Community Leaders of America.

Leticia Diaz, Zontria Jackson, Ronderrance Kent, Danielle Kirkland, Lauren Maierhoffer, Seymone Robbins and Wycovia Sanders represented Region 6 at state competition in four different competitive events – “Chapter Service Display,” “Entrepreneurship,” “Recycle and Redesign,” and “Chapter Showcase Display.”

Three of the four groups earned the highest score to advance to nationals this summer. Nationals will be July 12-16 in Nashville, Tenn. The Sylvania Telephone also will be honored in the MusicCity for its local FCCLA coverage.

“We just racked up,” said Carol Ayers, a veteran Screven County High School FCCLA advisor.

Jackson was elected by her Region 6 peers to become a FCCLA state officer for the 2009-2010 school year. The FCCLA state selection committee chose Jackson to serve as first vice president after Jackson gave a speech and answered questions from committee members on the following day. She was interviewed three times by adult judges.

The VP-elect said the competition to become a state officer was tough, but the leadership experience was worth it. Many advisors and students from other state schools noticed the successes of ScrevenCounty at the March meeting.

“When we were there, people would come up to us and say “Oh, you are from ScrevenCounty,” said Jackson, who will attend nationals in July. “And everybody knows Mrs. Ayers.”

Kent impressed the judges by taking an old wedding gown and creating a hoodie from it.

“It was really awesome,” Kent said of the leadership meeting March 19-21. “I didn’t know that you can have that much fun. I learned a lot and I felt loved and I felt like I belonged.”

For the “showcase,” Sanders dressed up as the Energizer Bunny and the group created a big battery as part of the meeting’s theme of “Excellence Electrified.”

For “entrepreneurship,” Diaz, under the business name of “Razzmatazz by Diaz,” developed a playground design that had rolling hills, not concrete.

“It was not easy,” said Diaz of creating a new business, “but you can try to start out small and I learned about a business plan.”

The SCHS chapter also was recognized for “Career Connection,” “Community Service,” “Dynamic Leadership,” and “Families First.” The local chapter also was honored for “STOP the Violence,” and “Student Body.”

The “Student Body” honor was awarded to SCHS for its “Great American Smoke-Out” project that members presented to fifth graders in May 2008.

Maierhoffer said a recent study showed that ScrevenCounty had a higher rate of bullying in schools than the state average.

“We are doing our best to give bullying a rest,” said Maierhoffer of her group’s project.

Under state projects recognition, SCHS was honored with “Adopt-A-Chapter,” “Alumni & Associates Chapter,” “Georgia Read More,” “Legislative Connection,” “Joint Camp,” “State Scholarship Fund,” “Foundations Contributions,” and “Library Fund.”

SCHS received a $50 Silver for “Gold Quest 2009.”

Eileen Beauregard was honored as a FCCLA Honorary Membership Recipient.

Student Brittany Boykin attended the meeting as the SCHS voting delegate. Ayers said Boykin was a valuable help to her fellow students by carrying their projects, getting their lunches and keeping them company when they had to wait for competitions.

“It was a great leadership experience,” Boykin said, “and I met a lot of people.”

“The accolades for the students were wonderful, but I am most proud of these young people for their attitude, enthusiasm and poise during a hectic and busy weekend,” Ayers said.

“They just shined,” Ayers said. “Each one of them did so well. I was so impressed with them. They are great kids.”

Ayers said the FCCLA Foundation will provide $330 for each of the eligible students to attend nationals, but fundraisers may be planned to raise more money to handle hotel, travel and food expenses.

Also, the Sylvania Telephone was one of two Georgia newspapers named as applicants for the “National Outstanding Media Award.” The other PeachState publication was The Cochran Journal, who covers BleckleyCountyHigh School.

“Our local newspaper, the Sylvania Telephone, is consistent and supportive in its coverage of SCHS FCCLA activities, events and fundraisers,” read the media award application. “The Sylvania Telephone helps young people become leaders by publicizing our local chapter’s program of work.”

Criteria for the honor includes “outstanding and continuing media coverage; effective public relations; assistance in promoting, covering and publicizing FCCLA; and assistance in communicating the mission and purposes of FCCLA.”

Ayers also accompanied a recommendation of support for the Telephone.

“Mr. Enoch Autry, editor, is a familiar face around our school,” Ayers wrote. “I see him often in the hall interviewing students for their accomplishments in career and technical organizations.

“I appreciate Mr. Autry’s work in our community to promote FCCLA in a positive manner,” Ayers wrote.

Preston Dees, the ScrevenCountySchools’ Career, Technical and Agricultural Education director, agreed with Ayers about the Telephone’s coverage of the FCCLA.

“The paper is very supportive of all CTAE teachers and their programs,” Dees wrote. “In a small community, it is refreshing to get local coverage that may not be achieved in a daily publication.”

“Promoting our local children’s achievements is the right thing to do,” Autry said. “Although the Telephone has been nominated for a national honor, it truly is the students and the FCCLA chapter as a whole that deserves all the acclaim.”