FCCLA Stars: BV students excel in competition, campaign
Berryville High School junior Christena Matzeder will be competing at the state Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) competition in Conway this February.
Matzeder placed Silver at the FCCLA STAR Events at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville. There are three score rankings for the FCCLA competition: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Scores between one and 69 are Bronze, while scores between 70 and 89 are Silver. Students must receive a score of 90 or above for a Gold ranking.
Matzeder said she received a score of 83 in the Chapter Service Project Portfolio division.
“I did a jean drive,” she said. “I wanted to collect jeans for Bright Futures Berryville so they could give them to students who didn’t have them or couldn’t afford them.”
To make the drive a success, Matzeder said Berryville’s FCCLA chapter had to get the word out so that people would bring in jeans.
“I also had to make a slideshow to show our process,” she said, “and meet all the requirements of what you need to get past the district competition. It took a lot of time management.”
Matzeder said she did not hear when it was announced that she would be competing at the state level.
“I had walked off the stage and had to look at our adviser and ask ‘So am I going to state?’ ” she said. “I was really happy about it and surprised. At the same time, I wasn’t that surprised because there were only three people in my division, and the top two go on to state.”
Matzeder said she got advice from her friend Jacey Howerton, who had previously competed in the STAR Events, for the jean drive.
“I used my knowledge of competing in STAR Events for the last two years to help her,” Howerton said. “I wanted to be like a mentor. We took some of the ideas we used for my project Pass the Bobcat Pride to make this project be successful. I was excited to help my best friend compete at her first STAR Events.”
Howerton was elected as the District 1 Vice President of Programs this October. She said she didn’t compete in the STAR Events this year so she could focus on her district officer campaign.
“So many schools come to the meeting in October, and everyone brings a voting delegate,” she said. “I had a speech and some props. A little after that, they announced it. I was really excited.”
Howerton said after competing at FCCLA nationals her goal had been to become a district officer.
“It was really cool to meet that goal,” she said. “I’ll be attending FCCLA Nationals in Anaheim, Calif., this summer and representing District 1. I’ll be able to attend state meetings and get some new ideas to use for our leadership meetings that we have in September. I’m excited to use my ideas.”
Howerton continued, “We’ve never had a district officer for Berryville before. It’s new and really exciting. It was cool to get over that hump.”
Matzeder said the next step for her will be cleaning up her project for the state competition.
“I’m going to take all my score sheets and tweak my project based on what the judges said I needed to work on,” she said, “like using my portfolio more as I speak. The biggest challenge will be getting past state because that’s when it’s competitive.”
Matzeder said she is hoping to advance past state and attend nationals with Howerton.
“We’ve got to get her to nationals so we can go to Disneyland together,” Howerton said, laughing.
“I’m excited for the experience to go to state because I’ve never done this before,” Matzeder said.
FCCLA adviser Leah Bunch said she is proud of how her students did at the STAR Events this year.
“They did great as always,” she said. “It’s always great to have a kid go to state. It’s wonderful. This will be our third year running to have someone in state. That’s incredible. It does not happen at every school.”