I dedicated a good portion of my life to serving an organization called FCCLA. Those of you my age and older may remember it as FHA. In high school, I served as a state and national officer and as an adult, I choose being an FCCLA teacher and adviser as my career. That is even where I met Dustin. He was also a big dog back in the day. Here we were when I was National VP of Finance and he was State President....
This was in 1998. Keep in mind we were not a thing back then. It wasn't until this same conference in 2001 that he trapped me in his wild web. I don't think I gave him the time of day the night this picture was taken. Oh, and leave me alone about that hair. It was 1998 and it was the one time I had a bad hair cut that I can't totally blame it on Mom. Maybe he didn't give me the time of day that night. I'm not sure who would have.
All of this being said, four years ago I made a move away from my Family and Consumer Science friends and FCCLA and became a counselor. I still am very happy I made the move. I didn't know how to do the FCCLA thing without working 60+ hours a week and I wouldn't want to do that with Kennedy. A few months back I was asked to return to FCCLA state convention and present a workshop to students and advisers on running for office. I was excited, flattered and nervous. I hadn't done anything like this in years! Would I be able to knock off all of the rust?
Well, convention was last week, and I have to say, I had an absolute blast. I saw so many people who have known me since I was a freshmen in high school. So many people who have seen my good, bad and ugly. So many people who helped shape me into who I am personally and professionally. Of course, the state officers put on a great show! These few high school leaders have always amazed me with their poise and professionalism. There are 100's of adults who wouldn't get in front of 8,000 of their peers to speak and these kids do it like it is nothin'. I have to say this is one trait I still carry with me. Speaking in front of a group comes so naturally. I actually used to make money as a motivational speaker and training facilitator in college. Maybe that can be a new venture for me....
Many of my good friends were recognized for their gifts of time and support to FCCLA. Ms. Carolyn, who is so near and dear to my heart....
I'm so glad we got out at the same time. What would I have done without you?
And our good friend, Ralph, who has been with Dustin and I through quite a bit. He was on one of the first state officer teams I worked with.
Then, it was time for the much anticipated workshop. They gave me this beautiful young district officer, Cheyenne, to work with. I planned on getting a pic with her, but it got a little hectic and she got away without getting one. She did help by taking some pics during the workshop, though.
I have to admit, it wasn't my best show, but it wasn't my worst, either. Our time was cut pretty short, so I only spoke once instead of twice, which was quite alright. I got lots of positive feedback from the students and have a few new Facebook friends to show for it. I am going to love helping them reach their goals of serving FCCLA as district and state officers!
After being away from everyone for a few years, it was great to see them and get caught up. A few times my heart was sad and I missed it. I missed the sisterhood among the teachers. I missed the special relationship I had with my students while I was in the classroom. I missed the pride I felt when my students amazed me with their projects, speaking and leadership. Then I spoke to some friends who were having to raise money to send 8 or 10 or 12 students to National Conference and I didn't miss it so much anymore! ha! I think I'm going to love my role as a sideline supporter just as much!!!