Schantle takes first at state

Alexis Barker

Submitted photo

Newcastle High School seniors Nickalena Schantle and Emma Haugen competed at the State FCCLA Competition in March when they were both juniors. Both Schantle and Haugen placed in the top three in baking and pastries at the state level, leading to Schantle taking home a third-place finish at nationals while enjoying a trip to Nashville with Haugen and instructer Liana Scribner. 


Alexis Barker

NLJ News Editor


Hours in the kitchen learning new technique and recipes paid off for two Newcastle High School members of Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America. Seniors Nickalena Schantle and Emma Haugen both placed at state before making a run at nationals in Nashville, Tenn. In
the end, Schantle finished in third place at nationals, competing with bakers from across the country. 

FCCLA is a career and technical student organization that functions as an integral part of the family and consumer sciences education and curriculum, according to the organizations website. 

The girls’ journey to nationals began March 24-26 at the state FCCLA competition at Little America in Cheyenne, according to NHS FCCLA sponsor Liana Scribner. The competitors were tasked with baking four items: pumpkin muffins, beignets, dinner rolls and decorated cupcakes in two hours and 45 minutes. 

At the state level, Schantle took home first place in the baking and pastry event, qualifying her to compete at nationals. Haugen secured third place, allowing her to attend nationals June 27-July 1 if the second-place winner did not attend. 

Schantle, an avid baker from a young age, said she enjoyed learning the different techniques involved with baking and decorating different items. 

Once at nationals, Schantle said, she had to tackle four different recipes: eclairs, braided bread rolls, blueberry scones and a decorated cake. 

“That was my first time ever decorating a cake like that; it was new to me. It had to be layered, and I had to use different frosting techniques,” Schantle said. “Then the blueberry scones – they didn’t turn out how they were supposed to. So, instead of triangles, I did lump scones and drizzled the icing.” 

According to Scribner, Schantle had about a month to learn the recipes at home before the national competition. The instructor also recorded her creating the items, which took about 3.5 hours. 

“The national convention was a hybrid conference, so participants were able to go in person or attend virtually. All of the competitors had to send in their projects in a virtual platform,” Scribner said, noting that Schantle also had to take a test on baking in case of a tie. 

In the end, the young baker took third place in the baking and pastry category. She also attended several workshops while in Nashville, meeting other like-minded students from across the nation. 

“It is kind of insane. I did not expect to go to nationals, and then I placed first at state and third at nationals,” Schantle said. “It took a lot of hard work, but it was really fun and we got to meet new people from everywhere. Everyone was super nice, competition was fun, and I really enjoyed all the different workshops.”

According to Scribner, the workshops covered several FFCLA-related topics, including entrepreneurship, cooking, interior design, fashion and personal health. 

“Along with the interesting workshops, we went sightseeing at the Nashville Zoo, the Nashville Angel Wings mural, the escape room, and the Hard Rock Café,” Scribner said. 


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