Students Earn Five Gold Medals, First Place Chapter Award at FCCLA 2018 National Leadership Conference

News Release
July 09, 2018

FCCLA national competitorsTen students from six Fairfax County Public Schools earned gold medals in competitive events at the 2018 FCCLA (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America) National Leadership Conference held earlier this summer in Atlanta. A total of 30 Family and Consumer Sciences-related competitive events called STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) were offered. These events support foundational, leadership, and workplace skills in areas such as advocacy, culinary arts, and entrepreneurship.  

Gold Medal winners were: 
•    Elizabeth Press of Madison High School in Teach and Train.
•    Arabella Cyre of Sandburg Middle School in Nutrition and Wellness.
•    Miranda Cespedes of Fairfax High School and Yale Kim and Emily Sarber of Lanier Middle School in Food Innovations.
•    Juliana Luckabaugh of Fairfax High School and Hana Ismail and Riley Sarber of Lanier Middle School in Promote and Publicize FCCLA.
•    Emma Sachs and James Brandow of Lake Braddock Secondary School in Life Event Planning.

Earning Silver Medals were:
•    Hope Peters of Lanier Middle School, Advocacy STAR event.
•    Naomi Daniels and Kayleigh Williams of Lanier Middle School, Chapter Service Project Display.

Sandburg Middle School received the First Place Middle School Student Body Award for their Straight Out of the Garden project. The Student Body award recognizes chapters that promote to youth the advantages of eating right, being fit, and making healthy choices. Sandburg FCCLA members learned about food insecurity and how some communities lack access to fresh vegetables. Their project involved debunking the myth that middle schoolers would not use a salad bar during lunches by surveying over 500 students about their school lunch preferences and access to fresh vegetables. FCCLA members applied for grants from the Virginia FCCLA Leadership Foundation and the Sandburg PTA to finance the construction of raised garden beds in the courtyard adjoining the Family and Consumer Sciences Food Lab in order to grow foods that could be featured in FACS labs and, potentially, in a school salad bar.  FCCLA members worked with Technology and Engineering students to design, build, and install the garden beds, and Art students to supply inspirational stepping stones in the garden.

Additionally,  the following students were recognized for completing  the following challenges:  Arabella Cyre and Denali Mason of Sandburg Middle completed the FCCLA Leadership Academy:  Engage track; Juliana Luckabaugh of Fairfax High completed the ENGAGE Leadership Academy; Hope Peters and Emily Sarber of Lanier Middle  earned the LAUNCH Leadership Academy certificate and medal; Emma Sachs and James Brandow  of Lake Braddock Secondary completed the following components of the Leadership Academy: Effective Communication and Networking, The Responsibility of Leaders, Public Speaking, Making Differences Count, and Group Dynamics and Collaboration.   

Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), is a national student organization whose programs are planned and run by members, and the only career and technical in-school student organization with a central focus on family.  

For more information, contact Regina Morrone at