Written by: Camilla Buchanan
With records dating back to the 1940s, Stephenville High School’s Family and Consumer Science, or FCS, classes have undergone numerous alterations in outward appearance but have maintained their crucial role in educating teens. Formerly known as Home Economics, FCS seems to have gradually disappeared over the decades. It is believed by many that “Home Ec” is no longer taught at schools due to this name change; however, these career-oriented classes have been doing quite the opposite, consistently improving and creating new opportunities for participating students throughout the years.
Today at SHS, a multitude of FCS classes are offered, including Culinary Arts, Human Growth and Development, Fashion Design, Interpersonal Studies, and Money Matters. Enrollment in any of these classes allows students the option to join the Stephenville Blue Chapter of a club known as Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America, or FCCLA. Formerly known as Future Homemakers of America, or FHA, this club is the only Career and Technical Student Organization that concentrates on preparing students for careers in the Family and Consumer Sciences. Since its founding in 1945, FCCLA has prepared students for their future occupations and families through national programs and conferences, competitive events, career exploration, and community service opportunities, and the Stephenville Blue Chapter has been actively employing these for decades.
SHS has been prevalent in state and national FCCLA since the chapter’s beginning, presenting a project called “Understanding Our Neighbors Both at Home and Abroad” at the Texas State Fair in October 1957, hosting and area meeting for over 1,000 members in the 1965-66 school year, and even sending a student to nationals for her STAR event project in 2021. However, SHS FCCLA has not only been participating in competitive events over the years; they have also been creating an impact in the Erath County community.
Whether it was campaigning for Christmas cards for state hospitals in November 1958, collecting Green Stamps to help a fellow young Texan homemaker in obtaining a kidney machine in the 1973-74 school year, or passing out Halloween candy at the annual Safe Trick or Treat on the Stephenville square in October 2021, FCCLA has proven its commitment to the betterment of society.
Teaching students interaction skills, ethical actions, and possible career paths, the Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America has proven its significance in Stephenville High School and beyond.