SPRINGFIELD — Two Alton High School students were among 82 pupils statewide who won awards at this year’s Family, Career and Community Leaders of America National Leadership Conference.
The Illinois State Board of Education recognized Emma Ernst and Kaitlyn Zini for their achievements in National Students Taking Action with Recognition (STAR) Competitive Events at the conference. Students from across Illinois won awards in 24 of the 29 STAR events, such as Advocacy, Applied Math for Culinary Management, Early Childhood Education, Fashion Design; Hospitality, Tourism and Recreation; Interpersonal Communication and Sports Nutrition.
FCCLA promotes co-curricular activities focused on family and consumer sciences career and technical education programs. The organization aims to provide students with leadership opportunities, promote problem-solving and collaboration skills, and support college and career readiness. More than 160,000 students belong to 5,400 chapters nationwide.
“It is so important that our students graduate from high school ready for college and career,” State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith said. “Programs like FCCLA strengthen the leadership, communication and critical thinking skills that will help students achieve inside and outside of the classroom. I am excited to congratulate these Illinois students for demonstrating initiative and success in their fields of interest.”
The national conference hosted top competitors from across the country, convening approximately 4,500 student participants. Students learned from speakers and engaged with their peers in workshops and competitions. The theme of this year’s conference, Empowered, encouraged students to use the skills they have gained from their involvement to make a difference in their schools and communities.
FCCLA held the National Leadership Conference in San Diego in July.
Other Illinois students awarded gold, silver, or bronze medals include:
- Adlai E. Stevenson High School: Jamie Berman, Robin Cheifetz, Camryn Hirsch, Stephanie Martin, Madison Randol, Laura Thornburg, Lindsey Wetle, Jordan Zatz
- Arcola Jr./Sr. High School: Macy Trejo
- Bartlett High School: Allison Brown
- Dwight Twp. High School: Leah Flynn, Lucy Rieke, Hannah Van der Karr
- Glenbrook North: Zainab Ahmed, Riana Bakis, Anujin Batbold, Morgan Berg, Michael Bubaris, Megan Cho, Lizzy Donnelly, Samantha Heyman, Janet Lee, Liza McMahon, Chloe Meier, Molly Mulvihill, Grace Schwandner, Stephanie Serbu, Blake Stephenson, Benjamin Zhao
- Glenbrook South: Alexia Roberts, Ashley Roberts
- Knoxville: Maddy Grady, Darcy Ratermann, Danielle Rossell
- Libertyville High School: Anna Mackey
- Lockport Township High School: Tim Behland
- Maine South High School: Maggie Ek, Kristie Guercio
- Maine West: Quin Santucci
- Mount Pulaski High School: TJ Benhart, Max Coppinger, Josh Dyer, Sam Koehl, Eli Olson, Lauren Thompson
- Oakland CUSD 5: Erica Butler, Lauren Lankster, Taylor Veach
- Prospect High School: Ashna Alex, Payton Chantry, Maddie Diluia, Jordan Dushane, Abby Fleig, Paige Gillogly, Ellie Gut, Ally Harrington, Dayna Laffey, Amy Lee, Faith Lindell, Lili Schober, Hannah Trais, Hanna Walker
- ROWVA: Nicole Brown, Allison Chasteen, Katie England, Dylan Kuberski
- South Elgin: Hailey Winger
- St. Charles East High School: Addison Strachan
- St. Charles North High School: Jamie Fisher, Isabel Frederick
- West Aurora High School: Yarelli Hernandez, Gillian Jones, Hayley Karn, Victoria Layman, Jennifer Litt, Miracle Maddox, Miel Nelson, Cristina Valdes
- Wilco Area Career Center: Ryne Thacker, Lauren Turk
The full list of winners, their schools and their award categories is available at fcclainc.org/programs/documents/2016IllinoisReport.pdf.