3 Winnetonka students make school history with top rankings at FCCLA competition

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KANSAS CITY NORTH, Mo. -- Three students recently made history at Winnetonka High School.

For the first time, all three of the Winnetonka students who attended the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America competition received gold placement status -- the highest rank.

The competition, known as "STAR Events," is an acronym for "Students Taking Action for Recognition." The community service program recognizes the future leaders of the country.

"Anything I do, I always put my whole heart into it," senior Gabriella Mathews said.

Gabriella Mathews

Mathews is the president of her school's FCCLA chapter.

"I'm definitely very driven and very hard working," Mathews said.

She, along with seniors Jessica Olive and Kaden Delk won gold in the regional FCCLA competition.

"I like to get the job done. If you give me a situation, I will get it done," Olive said.

"I'm always 110 percent into what I do. I'm just a very passionate person," Delk said.

Jessica Olive

"I'm pretty proud of the girls," said Jennifer Galetti, co-sponsor of the FCCLA chapter. "They worked really hard, and they worked really hard on their own."

Galetti said each student chose from 50 categories to compete in. They selected an area relevant to what they want to do in the future.

Mathews competed in fashion design; Olive competed in job interviewing; and Delk competed in career investigation.

"They're all hard workers, and they're all very driven," Galetti said.

Delk's research focused on being a pediatric nurse practicioner. She plans to one day have a job in the medical field.

Kaden Delk

Olive plans to go the corporate route. She's attending Missouri State University in the fall.

Mathews wants to become a teacher. For her project, she created a four-piece clothing line from scratch and researched the proper ways to market her product.

"Had that satisfaction of, 'Oh yeah, I made this, and it's going to state," Mathews said.

All three students competed in the state competition.

"It's very impressive," Galetti said.

Mathews' designs wowed the judges at state. She now heads to Atlanta in June compete in the national competition. In the fall, she's heading to Metropolitan Community College-Maple Woods.

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