Shining Bright: BV students excel in STAR competition
Berryville High School students showed their skills at the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) competition this month.
Sidnee McKinney, Jodee Smith, Josue Tena, Jacey Howerton, Paige McGehee, Kenzie Conklin, Sarah Davis and Adrienne Aguilera all competed in the FCCLA District 1 Students Taking Action with Recognition (STAR) Events on Wednesday, Dec. 6, at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith. Howerton advanced to the next stage of the competition and will be representing Berryville High School and Northwest Arkansas at the FCCLA State Competition in February.
Howerton competed in the Job Interview division. She said she had to go through a mock job interview, using the skills she has obtained through her family and consumer science (FACS) classes and explaining how they will help her in her future career.
“I chose to be a FACS teacher for my career, so it was easy to tie the skills into it,” Howerton said.
For the state competition, she said she is going to go through her portfolio again and work on a few areas for the next mock interview.
“I’m going to clean up a few things,” she said, “so that I’m able to answer their questions faster and more confidently.”
Tena, McKinney and Smith competed in the Life Event Planning division, planning a baby shower for FCCLA adviser Leah Bunch.
“We wanted to do a STAR event, and, since Mrs. Bunch was pregnant, we decided why not throw her a baby shower,” Tena said, “so we could help her with some baby gifts.”
“We played a few games,” Smith said, “and had little gifts to give everybody when they left.”
McKinney said the group presented their project to judges at the district competition and answered questions about the event.
McGehee and Conklin competed in the Focus on Children division. McGehee said they wanted to teach kids how to express their emotions through their style for the project.
“We had them draw pictures of things they like. Some kids drew cats,” she said. “We had them say ‘If I was sad or angry, I would pet my cat or play with my toys’ to teach them healthy ways to deal with emotions.”
“We went to the elementary school and talked to first- and second-graders and had them color and everything,” Conklin said. “They were surprisingly cooperative. We thought they would be all over the place, but they were very well-behaved.”
Davis and Aguilera chose to compete in the Advocacy division of the competition. Aguilera said their subject was audism, the discrimination against the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.
“We researched everything online and spoke to [elementary principal] Kelly Swofford about speaking to his WIN class,” she said, “and he agreed. Since he had been teaching them American Sign Language (ASL) previously, it was really great for us.”
Davis said they read the children the book “The 12 Deaf Princesses,” which is a take on the fairy tale “The 12 Dancing Princesses.”
“Sarah signed through the book,” Aguilera said. “She signed random words, and the kids would repeat them.”
She said they presented a binder full of everything they had done to the judges at the district competition, showing their progress.
“We didn’t score high enough to go to state,” Aguilera said, “but I think it was understandable. We could have tried harder, and we will next year. We’re hopeful that we’ll make it to state this next year.”
FCCLA adviser Rachel Gardner said she and Bunch were proud of all of the students.
“They all did wonderful,” Gardner said. “Bunch and I kept contact through texting this year because she wasn’t able to go, and she was really proud of them as well.”