Williams High School culinary students bring home four medals from 2023 FCCLA competition
WILLIAMS, Ariz. — Williams High School (WHS) students in Monica Moreno’s culinary classes recently returned from the Family Community and Career Leaders of America (FCCLA) cooking competition with four medals.
Founded in 1946, FCCLA national Career and Technical Student Organization provides personal growth, leadership development and career preparation opportunities for students in family and consumer sciences education.
Bentley Gutansky, Brittany Ramirez, Mariana Hernandez, Mario Salazar, Valeria Davalos, Andrea Saavedra, Heather King, Abigail Moreno and Christine Salgado took their cooking skills to Tucson to compete with dozens of other schools for top honors.
“I took nine students and out of nine students four students placed (and earned medals.) Three in bronze and one in silver,” Moreno said.
To participate in the cooking competition, students must be enrolled in the hotel restaurant management class and be an affiliated national FCCLA member. Williams Unified School District (WUSD) takes care of the involved fees and responsibilities.
At the state conference, two WHS students ran for the state executive council. Valeria Davalos was elected as Arizona FCCLA Vice President of Membership.
“Now we actually have a state council member here in Williams, which is a big deal. We’ve never had one here, so it’s going to be exciting,” Moreno said.
Competing for one of the eight positions on the state council, Valeria had to present a two minute speech in front of hundreds of students.
“She did a fantastic job” Moreno said. “It was kind of a political experience.”
Moreno stepped into the culinary teacher position at WHS in 2017.
“The program is amazing. It’s grown so much,” Moreno said.
Overall, Moreno was impressed with the abilities of her students.
“I thought they were all fantastic. They did a great job. They were able to work under pressure, so it really showed when they got all of their scores how well they did individually,” Moreno said. “They were pretty proud of themselves, they’re pretty proud of the whole experience, and they’re excited to go next year.”