Five students representing Glen Rose High School attended the 2018 Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) National Leadership Conference in Atlanta and returned home with national honors.

Lexi Sanchez, Abby Payne, Jordin Voss and Laney Whitefield were among over 4,500 STAR Event participants who competed in Atlanta. They took part in STAR Event competitions as they joined more than 7,500 FCCLA members, advisers, alumni, and guests from across the country for the conference, which ended its five-day run on July 2.

Payne and Voss, project partners, earned a gold medal in the Focus on Children, Sr. event with their Kids Cooking Camp project that positively impacted local kids and impressed the judges.

Sanchez competed in the Advocacy Occupational Event and received a Silver medal with her “Bee Responsible” Advocacy project.

Whitefield, an incoming sophomore at GRHS, received a silver medal in the Entrepreneurship, Jr. event with her project where she researched what it would take to create a business, including creating a portfolio which included everything you would need to open a bakery in Texas.

Also attending the conference from Glen Rose was Lilia Juarez, our 2018-2019 Region II Vice President of Competitive Events. She represented GRHS and Texas FCCLA by assisting with the competitive events at the conference, as well as honing her leadership skills as a participant in the 2018 Leadership Academy at NLC.

Jill Lawson, GRHS Culinary Arts teacher and FCCLA advisor, accompanied the students on the trip and served as the Lead Statistician Evaluator for the Culinary Arts Competition that took place at The Art Institute of Atlanta. Lawson worked alongside many famous chefs from around the world, including Stafford DeCambra, the President of the American Culinary Federation from Hawaii.

“This was the first time that I have had so many teams (and) individuals advance to national competition,” Lawson said. “I am really proud of these students and look forward to encouraging more students to set goals and work hard throughout the year to achieve this level of success. We would like to thank our GRHS School Board and Administrators for supporting CTSO (Career and Technical Student Organizations) such as FCCLA. The skills learned in these organizations will better prepare students for their lives after high school and offer and endless array of possibilities.”

The meeting provided the FCCLA members with the opportunity to attend leadership and program training, hear amazing speakers including keynote speaker, Dan Cathy: Chairman and CEO of Chick-fil-A, meet the National Executive Council, explore colleges and careers and be Inspired by FCCLA, the theme for the 2018 NLC conference.

FCCLA is a dynamic and effective career and technical 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 programs and competitions enrich student learning, improve self-esteem, and serve students with a range of ability levels, economic situations, and cultural influences.

It offers over 30 STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) Events. These events, which include Early

Childhood Education, Job Interview, and Sports Nutrition, among others, represent college and career readiness skills taught in Family and Consumer Sciences classroom. Members compete at the regional, state and national level.

FCCLA has more than 164,000 members and more than 5,300 chapters from 49 state associations, in addition to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

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

For more information on FCCLA, please check out or contact Jill Lawson at (254)898-3844 or