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WCHS students win state awards
Abigail Hodge focused on mental health issues plaguing teens as a result of the pandemic in her project named COVID: The Catalyst to Teenage Anxiety. The project earned her 1st Place Gold in the FCCLA’s STAR Event.
Kataen Shockley stands next to the display for her 1st-place project, Bags of Happiness.

Three Warren County High School students went for gold in the recent Virtual FCCLA State Leadership Conference.

This year’s Students Taking Action with Recognition (STAR) event allowed the attendees to compete with projects they had curated outside their usual learning curriculum. The students were allowed to enter various categories for the STAR event. All participated at Level 3, meaning they are in grade 11 or 12.

Abigail Hodge brought home 1st Place Gold for her project in Interpersonal Communications. This particular category evaluates a participant’s ability to communicate in a myriad of ways including written, verbal and 1-on-1. 

The topic was entirely up to the student’s choosing and Hodge opted to discuss the effects COVID-19 and the pandemic have had on the mental health of students at Warren County High School with her project titled “COVID: The Catalyst to Teenage Anxiety.”

“It feels important to educate my peers on how to communicate and learn more about the common and rising mental health problems faced by teens,” said Hodge.

Hodge used personal interviews with other students and instructors to piece together her project, applying the evidence and feedback to release a PSA which was then broadcasted on Duane Farnham’s advisory channel, The Frontier.

WCHS senior Kataen Shockley used an experience in 2nd grade to formulate her project in the Focus on Children category. She reflected on a moment as a child when her guidance counselor gave her a bag and asked that she put it in her friend’s backpack. This memory stood out to her and over time, she realized food security was an issue that was not often talked about.

“As I got older, I learned that not all kids had food to eat over the weekend and long breaks,” said Shockley.

With that moment crystallized in her mind, she was inspired to craft her project “Bags of Happiness.” She studied the nutritional needs of school-aged children and deliberated over foods to find that would best meet those requirements. 

Her efforts were recognized with a 1st Place Gold placement.

Madalyn Stubblefield took an interest in a lesser-observed sport, dancing, with her project “Dance it Off.” She analyzed information and research material to determine the appropriate nutrition a dancer needs to excel on and off the dance floor. 

With this information, she proceeded to create goals and nutritional meal plans that adhered to various requirements, such as water intake and exercise that the athletes must meet daily to remain in optimal performance.

Her studious research and hard work paid off as the senior was awarded 1st Place Gold in the Sports Nutrition category for her project.

Students were not the only ones to receive recognition. Two members of the FCCLA staff were honored for their work within the organization.

Adviser Megan Sager was awarded FCCLA Distinguished Service Award, defined by FCCLA as an embellishment reserved to recognize “outstanding contributions and continuing service by individuals whose primary responsibilities are directly related to the organization’s programs.” 

Tracy Risigner was additionally the recipient of the Tennessee FCCLA Administrator of the Year Award. 

This is awarded to school administrators whose exceptional work is focused on coordinating closely with their FCCLA chapter and help align members of the program with opportunities made available to them.

The 1st place winners will be eligible to attend the Virtual National Leadership Conference this summer from June 27 to July 2, where they will be competing at a national level with their winning projects from the STAR events.