Six Portales students head to nationals

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer

The Portales High School chapter of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America have accomplished another milestone during the past year.

In April, FCCLA teacher Debbie Stenstrom traveled to Albuquerque with a group of six students, to compete in the state contest. During the competition, all of the students qualified to attend the national conference in California, Stenstrom said.

“We had 100 percent of our kids qualify,” Stenstrom said. “We had a good group of kids.”

During the state competition, the students competed in three events, Applied Technical Event, Chapter Service Display and Illustrated Talk. The teams consisted of one individual, and two teams, one with three members and one with two members, Stenstrom said.

One of the projects presented was developed to monitor the amount of exercise that students and teachers were getting during the day. Called the FCCLA Steppers, students and teachers were given pedometers to wear to keep track of the amount of steps that they were walking, Stenstrom said.

“They wanted to promote exercise with teachers and students,” Stenstrom said.

Through the project, it was found that teachers walked more steps per day than the students. Teachers spend more time up and moving around while they are teaching, while students are required to move when necessary, but are also required to spend a great deal of time sitting, Stenstrom said.

“We found that a lot of students are not getting enough exercise,” Stenstrom said.

The three girls involved in the project, Samantha Orozco, Shelby Stevens and Andre Garcia, took the information they had learned and have used it to encourage both the students and the teachers to walk more, Stenstrom said.

The winning streak continued with a the two-member team winning with their Chapter Service Display board that was based on the chapter’s recent involvement with the Relay for Life. Individual Laura Castillo put together a Power Point presentation that focused on young people who cut themselves and how to get help for the problem, Stenstrom said.

“I think it’s exciting,” Stenstrom said of her student’s accomplishments.

For the first time in over 10 years, a Portales student was elected to a state officers position. Orozco, a junior, was elected to the position of state officer of community service, she said.

“I’m still extremely excited. I still can’t get over it,” Orozco said.
Stenstrom credits the recent success of the FCCLA chapter not only to her students, but also to her student teacher Helen Hernandez-Herrera, who was also a former student.

“We’ve been very busy. It’s been a really great year,” Stenstrom said.

At a glance

What: FCCLA Car Wash
When: 9 a.m. Saturday
Where: Wal-Mart

What: Oklahoma Drive Block Garage Sale
When: June 9
Where: Oklahoma Drive

FCCLA students traveling to national competition July 7 -13 in Anaheim, Calif., will be working at the above events to raise funds to help with trip expenses.