Montgomery County FCCLA enjoys success at state conference

By Theo Tate
Posted 3/25/23

The gold medals are piling up for Alexa Groeber.

In a span of two months, the Montgomery County junior picked up two gold medals for her STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) project. …

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Montgomery County FCCLA enjoys success at state conference


The gold medals are piling up for Alexa Groeber.

In a span of two months, the Montgomery County junior picked up two gold medals for her STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) project. She picked up her second gold medal at the Missouri Family, Career and Community Leaders of America State Leadership Conference on March 12-14 at the Tan-Tar-A Conference Center in Osage Beach.

“Alexa did good,” said senior Abby Knapp, who is the president of the MCHS FCCLA chapter.

Groeber’s gold medal was part of a memorable outing for MCHS at the two-day state conference. It won two Best Chapter in Missouri awards and a STAR Chapter award for membership. Groeber, Knapp and juniors Hannah Toenges and Jaylynn Zerr were the school’s representatives at the state event.

“Going into it, we didn’t know that we were getting awards,” Knapp said. “We kind of figured that we would. We weren’t told that we were, so whenever our name was called, it was kind of a big surprise.”

On the opening day of the state conference, MCHS earned a first-place award for best Missouri Community Service National Program chapter. The following day, the chapter picked up a second-place Missouri for Career Connection National Program award for its entrepreneurship class.
On the final day, Groeber picked up a gold medal for her STAR project, which focused on financially helping many families dealing with cancer. She is selling Easter-themed cupcakes and proceeds go towards the Helen Reagan Cancer Fund.

Groeber said she was thrilled to receive her first gold medal at the high school level. In January, the junior earned a gold medal in regional competition, which was held at MCHS.

“It was honestly amazing,” Groeber said. “I was really happy. I went to state in middle school and I got a silver. I was kind of hard on myself after that. Ever since then, my goal was to get gold at state, so I have been a lot more active in FCCLA this year. That was my main goal this year. Even though I didn’t advance to nationals, I made a huge impact in my chapter, my school and my community. So that was an amazing thing for me.”

Zerr was recently elected FCCLA Region 4 president for the 2023-24 school year. She said she enjoyed going on stage to talk about the region during the state conference.

“That was fun,” said Zerr, who is the vice-president of the MCHS chapter. “I really do like going up on stage in front of everybody. I think that is a cool experience. I also got to judge some of the competitions that were going on and that was also fun.”

Toenges, who is the chapter’s secretary and treasurer, made her first trip to the state conference. She said she enjoyed her time at the Lake of the Ozarks.

“It’s so beautiful,” Toenges said. “Looking over the lake was so pretty. It was cold, but it was really fun. We got to go to different places to eat.”

Toenges said she had some jitters while going on stage with the chapter mates to receive the National Power of One award.

“I get stage fright,” Toenges said. “So whenever I walked out there, I couldn’t see anything. I don’t remember anything I said. I was really dizzy. It was so blurry. Then I got off the stage and it was such a relief because I hate being on stage so much. It was still really fun. Then, I got to go with Abby to accept another award. I still couldn’t see anything. I was so scared that I was shaking through my boots.”

The MCHS FCCLA chapter had a busy year that included a paddle auction in November and a trip to Jefferson City to see State Rep. Bruce Sassmann.

“From being in all of these classes for three years, I would say this year has been crazy,” Knapp said. “There has been a lot of stuff going on at the same time. We brought in a lot of money. I think the projects we’re doing are very beneficial.”
Groeber said being part of the FCCLA chapter has helped her become more active.

“I’m sad that I was not as involved in FCCLA as a freshman and sophomore,” Groeber said. “I kind of regret that. I wished I could have done more. Looking back at it now, I had a good time at the state conference and I want to do more of that. Next year, I want to do as much as I can to get involved. I’ve talked to different freshmen and tried to get them involved. So far, it’s been a great thing.”


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