Gloucester student wins gold at national leadership conference

Kim Robins - Posted on Jul 20, 2011 - 04:17 PM

Sarah Kladler, a rising freshman at Gloucester High School, recently returned from a National FCCLA Leadership Conference in California where she was awarded a gold medal for her Teach and Train FCCLA project.

One aspect of the FCCLA, or Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, organization is STAR. STAR stands for Students Taking Action with Recognition and its events provide an opportunity for students, as individuals and teams, to compete and achieve through projects, career preparation activities, and demonstrations of leadership.

As an eighth grader at Peasley Middle School, Kladler led a six-week, after-school art club for second and third grade children at neighboring Bethel Elementary School as her FCCLA STAR competition project. Kladler said she chose this undertaking to give the children "the opportunity to have more time to expand their creative abilities."

Photo: Sarah Kladler

Sarah Kladler

Kladler’s documented project scored a bronze award at the Virginia State FCCLA Conference, which gave her the opportunity to compete in Anaheim. With the departure of former Peasley consumer sciences teacher and FCCLA sponsor Sara Rushing, Kladler turned to Yvonne Ray, a retired home economics/consumer sciences teacher, for assistance in tweaking her project before the national competition. Ray’s tips paid off, and Sarah won gold.

Kladler has enjoyed her experiences as an FCCLA member and would like to see a chapter at GHS. She said FCCLA has "a mission to promote personal growth and leadership development through family and consumer sciences education. The main goal of FCCLA is to help our community through service projects that not only benefit others but benefit members by providing them with leadership experience."