7 things about Mary Katherine Gunn, FCCLA national president

By Jessica Vaughn
Education Editor
jessica@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 9/2/22

ELBERTA — For the first time since 1975, the FCCLA national president is an Alabamian, and she hails from right here in Baldwin County.Mary Katherine Gunn, a senior at Elberta High School, was …

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7 things about Mary Katherine Gunn, FCCLA national president

Mary Katherine Gunn, FCCLA president, poses for a portrait recently at Elberta High School.
Mary Katherine Gunn, FCCLA president, poses for a portrait recently at Elberta High School.
Micah Green / Gulf Coast Media
Posted

ELBERTA — For the first time since 1975, the FCCLA national president is an Alabamian, and she hails from right here in Baldwin County.
Mary Katherine Gunn, a senior at Elberta High School, was elected to the role this past summer during the FCCLA National Leadership Conference.
“This year, I get to be the youth voice for almost 200,000 members,” Gunn said. “Our theme is ‘IncREDible,’ so the whole year we’re highlighting how our members are incredible and how they are pushing the world to bigger and better heights, so it’s a really cool experience to be able to do that and I love this theme.”
Gunn will be president for one term, then have the opportunity to serve another term on the board of directors and continue her influence- just sans the red jacket.
During her time as president, Gunn will host three conferences: the 2022 Capitol Leadership, the National Conference being held in Columbus, Ohio, and the 2023 National Leadership Conference being held in Denver, Colorado.

She also sits on the FCCLA board of directors, something few 17-year-olds can say that they’ve done for a national nonprofit, Gunn said.
“I’ve always known that I liked talking to people, I just didn’t know how to use that,” she said. “I never stopped talking in elementary school, but all of the words that were coming out of my mouth were good words, they just weren’t as constructive as they needed to be. I think FCCLA has really helped me funnel that passion of informing people and teaching them about things that I’m passionate about and making it something that actually comes to fruition.”
But who is Gunn? What are her goals? What does she like to do outside of FCCLA? What is her spirit animal? Get to know the 2022 – 2023 FCCLA national president through her passions, hobbies and aspirations.

1) WHAT’S YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL?

“Manatee,” she answered with a laugh.

2) DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE QUOTE OR MOTTO?

“It’s a Bible verse. ‘Let everything you do be done in love.’ That’s been my mantra since I’ve been existing, basically, because my parents have always been like, ‘You help everyone, no matter who they are or what they look like or who they worship, you help everyone.’ Let everything you do be done in love, that’s always been my thing.”

3) WHEN YOU’RE NOT OFF CONQUERING THE WORLD, WHAT ARE YOUR OTHER HOBBIES?


“Sports media. I’m a massive baseball fan, so watching baseball, taking pictures of baseball, I absolutely love the sport. I’ve grown up with it, that was my brother’s passion, so he was a huge proponent of that. I would steal my mom’s camera and take pictures of him when I was little, so that’s another full circle moment.
“I love anything creative; I doodle on my iPad all the time. I love hunting and fishing, my dad’s a charter captain so I’m on the water a lot with him. And I absolutely love working with kids in any capacity. My mom’s a schoolteacher, but I also just love kids, so working in the classroom.”

4) FAVORITE MOVIES/TV SHOWS?

“I love "Dirty Dancing", I love "Grey’s Anatomy", I love "Star Wars" and Harry Potter. I’m a massive nerd. And then of course "Sandlot", Disney movies like "Up" and "Brave" and "Luca". I’m a big movie buff because of my dad.”

5) REGARDLESS OF COST OR TIME, WHAT IS YOUR DREAM VACATION?

“I’d love to travel six continents. I’m not really interested in going to Antarctica, but I’d love to go through the other six continents and do an art and cuisine tour. I love food and I love art, so getting to go through those places, start in the Norwegian countries and work my way down to Australia. It would be very expensive, but very worth it. A massive culture tour.”

6) WHAT MESSAGE DO YOU WANT TO GIVE TO YOUR PEERS?


“My biggest thing is showing that you can go for something and follow through with it and make something really big out of it. I feel that’s a thing with my generation, we’ll start something but not finish it, because we don’t think it will come to fruition. Which yes, did I have times during this process that I didn’t think it was going to come to fruition? Absolutely. But it’s just seeing things through. And also, for me, don’t judge a book by its cover. From an outside perspective, when I don’t have full official dress on, my hair and makeup done, I don’t look like I would be the national president or sitting on a board of directors at the age of 17- I look like a normal high schooler! I think that’s a big thing that especially our kids need to learn, is to learn about someone’s heart before you judge them from what they look like on the outside.”

7) WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FUTURE PLANS?

“I know I want to attend a larger university, and I also really love sports media. My top three universities right now are Auburn, Mississippi State and Texas A&M. I want to go into mass communications and then possibly focus in either media marketing or nonprofit management to hopefully one day get to work with a nonprofit.
“Or work for the Atlanta Braves,” she added with a laugh.

More about FCCLA: FCCLA stands for Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. FCCLA replaced home economics in schools around 1999.
“We are a career and workforce readiness association that focuses on personal and leadership development through family and consumer science education,” Gunn said. “They did the name switch to better reflect how we as an organization prepare our members for the future and not just for homemaking, because that’s not all that we’re doing now.”
FCCLA’s four career pathways include hospitality & tourism, visual arts & design, education & training and human services.

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