The Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) chapter at Howells-Dodge Consolidated Public Schools was recently selected as a national winner during the organization’s leadership conference.

Kimberly Scarborough, a teacher and adviser from Neligh-Oakdale High School, also received recognition at the conference, along with dozens of other students from Northeast Nebraska.

More than 4,500 students competed in the hybrid national leadership conference — some virtually, some in-person in Nashville, Tennessee. Members participated in professional development opportunities, career exploration and youth leadership sessions aimed at advancing families, careers and communities through family and consumer sciences education.

Nebraska had one chapter selected as a National Program Award winner. The Howells-Dodge FCCLA chapter’s FACTS (Families Acting for Community Traffic Safety) National Program project was selected as runner-up, receiving a $500 award for its efforts to increase seatbelt usage in the school and educating elementary students about the importance of wearing seatbelts.

Their chapter was also the recipient of the state-level FACTS award, which included a $1,000 cash prize.

Howells-Dodge FCCLA also was recognized as one of six Lead4Change Spring 2021 Challenge winners and received a $10,000 grant for a nonprofit of its choice. As part of their project, students worked to help children develop a love for books and reading through Literature for Littles.

Scarborough received the 2021 Spirit of Advising Award, an honor bestowed to only one FCCLA chapter adviser from each state. She serves as the state’s FCCLA Board of Directors chair and was recognized as a Master Adviser during the conference.

Nebraska had more than 70 students and advisers attend the conference in Nashville with another 160 participants taking part virtually.

“Those attending virtually could experience the conference very similarly to those attending in-person, and however members participated, they were still able to grow as individuals and leaders,” said Kaylee Hilbers, 2021-22 Nebraska State FCCLA president, in a media release.

Rebekka Jay, a senior at Logan View High School, was one of 25 national officer candidates vying for a position on the 2021-22 National Executive Council. Even though she was not selected to serve as a national officer during the upcoming year, the experience of serving as a candidate was a major honor, she said.

In addition to the many learning and networking experiences at the conference, more than 30 family and consumer sciences-related competitive events, also known as STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) events were offered.

Nebraska had 184 members compete in the national STAR event competition, earning 85 gold medals, 90 silver medals and nine bronze medals. Northeast Nebraska students who earned awards in the top three places are listed below:

First place

Rachel Malander, Boone Central — Leadership, gold

Brooklyn Cahoy, O’Neill — Nutrition and Wellness, gold

Ashley Pischel, O’Neill — Repurpose and Redesign, gold

Second place

Maria Gonzalez, Sahrai Luna and Katie Vanderveen, Wakefield — Chapter Service Project Display, gold

Miranda Batenhorst and Bailey Harpham, Logan View — Digital Stories for Change, silver

Brynn Settje and Ella Urban, Leigh/Clarkson — Event Management, silver

Ashley Caballero and Jaquelin Luna-Duran, Neligh-Oakdale — Food Innovations, gold

Alexis Butterfield and Mary Walnofer, Chambers — Food Innovations, gold

Kalli Niemann, Brittany Preister, Cheyenne Ruhnke, Emma Thompson and Samantha Weeder, Boone Central — Parliamentary Procedure, gold

Shayla Jacobsen, Plainview — Repurpose and Redesign, gold

Marisa Malander, Boone Central –— Teach and Train, gold

Third place

Hana Miller, O’Neill — Chapter in Review Portfolio, gold

Danika Kreifels and Adelyn Ten Kley, Logan View — Entrepreneurship, gold

Olivia Lauck and Brooke Pinkelman, Bloomfield — Entrepreneurship, gold

Piper Dather, Crofton — Fashion Construction, gold

Kylie Cautrell, Winside — Fashion Construction, gold

Troia Drey and Jessica Nelson, Logan View — Professional Presentation, gold

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