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News Section: Schools and Education

Manatee Students Shine at STAR Event

Published Monday, July 28, 2014 12:03 am

BRADENTON – Twenty Manatee County Students from Lakewood Ranch High School and Braden River Middle School participated and competed at the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) 2014 National Leadership Conference held recently in San Antonio. More than 7,000 members, advisers, alumni, and guests from across the country gathered and took part in STAR Event Competitions at the conference. The conference was based on the student-originated theme “SOAR.”

FCCLA offers 33 STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) Events. These events, represent college and career readiness skills taught in Family and Consumer Sciences classrooms. Members compete at the District, State and National level. This year, these Manatee County students were among over 4200 STAR Event participants who competed during the week in San Antonio. This is the largest number of competitors at any National STAR Events competition.

The following medals were awarded to Braden River Middle School Students:  Hannah McWilliam received a gold medal for her Recycle and Redesign project, and the team of Cara Ryan, Michelle Sobolewski and Elizabeth Gape also received gold for their Chapter in Review Display. Receiving silver medals were: Grace Capellin for Entrepreneurship, Chelsea Solari for Career Investigation, Sidney Oake and Liana Price for Chapter in Review Portfolio, Ashley Tollner and Courtney Gape for Advocacy, and Skylee Miller and Kieu Nguyen for Interpersonal Communication.

Lakewood Ranch Students received Silver medals including: Jessica Zelitt for Advocacy, Christina Rothenberger for Early Childhood Education, Meghan Neu and Cassandra Rankin for Focus on Children and Charlotte Price, Teagan Bowen and Ariana Rupan for Chapter in Review Display.

The Advisors are Jill Bergeron at Braden River Middle School and Elaine Bowling at Lakewood Ranch High School.


Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), is a dynamic and effective national student organization that helps young men and women become leaders and address important personal, family, work, and societal issues through Family and Consumer Sciences education. FCCLA has 200,000 members and more than 5,500 chapters from 49 state associations, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The organization has involved more than ten million youth since its founding in 1945.

FCCLA: The Ultimate Leadership Experience is unique among youth organizations because its programs are planned and run by members.  It is the only career and technical in-school student organization with the family as its central focus.  Participation in national programs and chapter activities helps members become strong leaders in their families, careers, and communities.

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