A group of Columbia County high-school students fared well in Chi-Town last week in a national competition.
Harlem High School's three-member culinary team, Cassandra Heim (from left), Ashleigh Pangelinan and Anthony Zimmerman, are shown at a national FCCLA
competition in Chicago last week where they received a bronze metal.
Harlem High School's three-member cooking team and six students from Lakeside High School each sported medals when they returned Friday from the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America National Leadership Meeting in Chicago, Ill.
The trip marked Harlem's first time competing on a national level in culinary arts, and the cooking team baked, broiled and sauteed their way to a bronze medal.
"I think, at first, they were disappointed that they didn't get a gold (medal), but I reminded them that this was their first time," Harlem's Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher Barbara Howard said. "This was a new adventure.
"I told them I was very pleased with what they did. This is the first time ever a culinary team from this area had gone to national."
Harlem's team - Cassandra Heim, a rising junior; Ashleigh Pangelinan, a rising senior; and Anthony Zimmerman, a rising senior - took the top honors at the Georgia FCCLA State Culinary Arts Competition in Atlanta on April 16 to earn a spot at the national competition.
The team served up salmon, a tomato and onion relish, crepes and a salad to earn their medal.
Despite the bronze finish, team captain Ashleigh said at least one judge preferred their seafood dish, despite their own lack of confidence.
"I had never made fish before," said Ashleigh, 17, who also serves as president of the Harlem chapter of FCCLA. "But a judge came up to us after the contest, started eating off the plate and said it was the best fish he ever had."
Lakeside's FCCLA chapter brought home a gold medal and four silver medals from the national event.
Teams and individuals competed in Applied Technology and Illustrated Talk categories.
"Applied Technology is an individual or team event that recognizes participants who develop a project using technology that addresses a concern related to family and consumer sciences and/or related occupations," Lakeside FACS teacher Sandi Taylor wrote in an e-mail.
"Illustrated Talk is an individual or team event that recognizes participants who make an oral presentation about issues concerning family and consumer sciences and/or related occupations. Participants use visuals to illustrate the presentation."
Rising senior Sana Hashmi won a gold medal in Applied Technology. A team of rising sophomores - Muktha Natrajan, Anu Pillai and Mili Shah - won a silver medal in Applied Technology. Ashley Baum, a rising senior, won a silver medal in Illustrated Talk.
"Her topic was on breast cancer awareness and the walk that we sponsored in memory of Cathy Ferko," Taylor said. "Cathy was a Spanish teacher at (Lakeside) who passed away from breast cancer. The chapter raised $800, which was donated to the Susan Komen Breast Cancer Foundation."
Taylor chaperoned her sixth team to national competition, and of all the cities where the nationals have been held - Philadelphia, Penn.; Anaheim, Calif.; Orlando, Fla.; Boston, Mass.; and Minneapolis, Minn. - the Windy City suited her best.
"I had never been to Chicago, and I was very impressed," she said. "It's a beautiful city. It was my first time, and I want to go back."
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