Board commends Shawnee students for success at summer competition

Eight students from Shawnee High School were presented with awards for their success at a summer competition.

Shawnee High School students Meghan Harms, Claire Hauser, Morgan Broderick, Rose Walding, Anneliese Balman, Sydney Crain, Grace McKinley and Charlie-Ann Perez pose with their district pride awards, Shawnee Family and Consumer Science Teacher Ashley Gerber and two board members representing Shawnee, Steve Lee and Allison Eckel, on Nov. 20 during the LRHSD board meeting (Krystal Nurse/The Sun).

Summer success was highlighted at a recent Lenape Regional High School District Board of Education meeting.

On Nov. 20, eight Shawnee High School students were recognized for their award-winning projects in the Family Career and Community Leaders of America national competition, which was held from June 29 to July 4 in Anaheim, Calif. FCCLA is a national career and technical student organization, and Shawnee students created their projects during their Fashion and Consumer Science classes. Some of the award-winning projects were on display at the meeting, during which Superintendent Carol Birnbohm formally recognized the eight students and presented them with district pride awards.

The students are judged on their projects along with their oral presentations, and students prepare their projects throughout the school year and practiced their public speaking skills frequently,” Assistant Principal and Department Supervisor Lorna A. Fairess said. “The competitive events at the conference included life event planning, illustrative talk, sports nutrition, interior design, hospitality and tourism, and recreation.

The students recognized include: Meghan Harms, gold medal for life event planning; Claire Hauser, silver medal for interior design; Morgan Broderick, gold medal for sports nutrition; Rose Walding, gold medal for sports nutrition; Anneliese Balman, gold medal for sports nutrition; Sydney Crain, gold medal for hospitality, tourism and recreation; Grace McKinley, gold medal for illustrative talk; and Charlie-Ann Perez, gold medal for life event planning. 

Ashley Gerber, family and consumer science teacher, said the projects were created this time last year by the students, then taken to a state competition in March, to finally being tweaked and presented over the summer at nationals.

In each of the categories, Gerber said the students were tasked to present real-life solutions, using their peers, family members or immediate community, to adequately answer the prompts.

Every single one of the students were in the top 15 highest scores in the country,” Gerber added. “It’s a 100-point rubric and they all scored high and did very well with the rest of the country.”

Perez and Harms created a project based on a friend who is celebrating a Sweet 16, and they contacted venues to get pricing on how much the event would cost and had to order invitations that were added to their poster’s portfolio.

Crain created a tourism company in Medford Lakes showcasing boat, biking and canoe traveling, and she had to create the “ins and outs” of a business.

[McKinley] was the one that did the illustrative talk, and she said that she went through the fashion classes, and her passion was nursing,” Gerber said. “I found an article about how medical students were having trouble sewing their patients up because they don’t have the dexterity in their fingers.” 

McKinley’s project revealed how dexterity is needed in a wide variety of professions and industries, and not just fashion.

Balman, Broderick and Walding revamped a student’s nutrition plan to correspond with her appropriate water intake, calories, exercise, etc.

[Hauser] did interior design, which is probably one of the hardest and most competitive events in FCCLA,” Gerber said. “They give you a scenario and you’ve got to come up with the whole concept. Floor plans have to be to scale and need to be precise, colors and the whole idea of it.

“Not many gold medals are awarded for it.

Ashley [Gerber], you are producing phenomenal presenters, future leaders and I’m really proud of these young women and I said last year when we had gold medalists that we didn’t get to see their projects and now we have it,” Birnbohm said. “Parents, I know it’s a commitment to send your child to nationals, and I’m sure they appreciate your support and we’re very proud of them.

The next LRHSD board meeting is scheduled for Dec. 18 starting at 7:30 p.m. at 93 Willow Grove Road in Shamong.