On Feb. 7, students in red blazers dotted the campus of Peterson Middle School. The students were here to attend the 2015 Spring Meeting, a regional competition between local members of FHA-HERO. FHA-HERO stands for Future Homemakers of America- Home Economics Related Occupations. Its events allow participants to show off their skills in areas, such as culinary arts and design. Students from Santa Clara High School and Peterson Middle School were among the estimated 200 competitors at this year’s meeting.
Kathy Hopp, culinary teacher and FHA-HERO advisor at Santa Clara High School, shares her students’ successes. Jennifer Ho, junior, placed in the top five in menu planning and table display. Ted Kang, junior, placed in the top five in salad preparation. Boonevie Valentino, junior, took the gold medal for the chapter’s review portfolio, similar to a scrapbook. The chapter exhibit, designed by a number of students, also took the gold medal.
“A year and a half ago, we affiliated with FHA-HERO and now we have over 20 kids involved,” Hopp says. “The amount of fundraising we’ve done to be able to send some representatives from our school [to competitions] is a huge accomplishment. I’m proud of how independently my students worked to create some of their entries. A few of my students will be going to the state competition in Fresno in April.”
Jarrell Fedalizo, a culinary arts teacher at Peterson Middle School, will also be attending the state competition with a few students.
At the regional competition, Mariam Touni and Ella Thomas, both eighth graders, took first and second place, respectively, in the junior division’s menu planning and table display.
“Mariam’s table setting was reflective of a lunchtime picnic at a meadow and Ella’s setting was reflective of a lunchtime picnic at a farm,” Fedalizo says. “The theme for the junior level was a lunchtime picnic with friends. It was our students’ task to take that and put their own spin on it, their own interpretation of what the theme is. Mariam and Ella went through ideas and they went through centerpieces and flatware they liked. It came together on its own.”
Laura Wong and Aditi Mohite, also eighth graders, participated in the nutrition education category.
“Laura and Aditi competed in a team event and won first place,” Fedalizo adds. “Their theme was about the negative effects of caffeine.”