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Braden River High claims national TSA title

Three division titles lead Braden River High to national TSA team championship.

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When Fiorella Recchioni first started on her fashion design and technology project for the Technology Student Association, she was nervous. 

Recchioni, who graduated from Braden River High School in May, said she didn’t know “the first thing about fashion design” and knew the project would be a huge learning curve. 

But hard work definitely was in fashion.

Recchioni and her team members, rising senior Nico Curci and graduate Sara Diaz, placed second in fashion design and technology during the National TSA Conference June 26-30 in Dallas.

“I honestly did not think it would place at all so it was just a shock mostly,” Recchioni said.

Braden River High School’s TSA chapter placed first overall at the National TSA Conference.

Recchioni, Curci and Diaz were tasked with designing and creating a red, white and blue theme park uniform for a ride called the Power Charger. 

Diaz modeled the white sports jacket and navy blue plants that had red lightning bolts on the arms and white lightning bolts at the bottom of the pants for the judges.

Liam Wilford, a Braden River High graduate, creates a Piaggio Ape with an Italian street backdrop. Courtesy photo,
Liam Wilford, a Braden River High graduate, creates a Piaggio Ape with an Italian street backdrop. Courtesy photo,

Liam Wilford, who graduated in May, placed first in transportation modeling in which he had to build a scale model of a package and product delivery vehicle with a display. Wilford chose to make a Piaggio Ape, which is a small three-wheeled car from the 1970s. 

“I wanted to do something more unique and memorable than just a typical box truck, which is the first thing that comes to mind related to package delivery,” Wilford said. “I had seen the Piaggio Ape in a TV show before, and it seemed like a unique and interesting challenge to try to recreate.”

He designed the vehicle using a 3D design program and used a 3D printer to print the parts. For the display, he created an Italian street with a market stall selling textiles. 

“I enjoyed seeing the model come to life,” Wilford said. “The single biggest challenge was getting the design of the cab accurate to real life at this scale. Winning the event felt like kind of a confirmation and validation of my skills that I had developed through TSA. It felt like a good way to end my TSA career.”

Joyce Chen, a rising sophomore, also had a first place win at the national conference where she competed in the promotional design event. She had to create a promotional portfolio to get others to join TSA. Chen included a business card, poster, flier and waterfall card in her portfolio.

“I wanted to do promotional design because I was always interested in graphic design because I’m a very artistic person, and I like hands-on stuff,” Chen said. “I thought promotional design would possibly prepare me for the future if I ever decide to promote or market something. … I felt really proud of my projects, and I’m thankful I was able to come up with a design that stood out to the judges. I hope I can keep continuing with this success.”

Victoria Medina, a rising senior, and her team brought home a second place victory in digital video production with their video of Bradenton’s Brian Lacey. The video showed the day in the life of Lacey, who is a commercial fisherman. 

Medina said the group initially wanted to create a satirical video about the day in the life of a murderer or spy, but they ultimately decided to create a video on someone more “down to earth and realistic.”

“We wanted to emphasize how there’s a lot of careers out there that are really important to American society,” Medina said. “Commercial fisherman is one of those that we don’t usually think about, especially for STEM students in TSA who aspire to be engineers, doctors or STEM careers that just do not involve thinking about the day-to-day life of those who bring food to the tables of millions of people.”

Although the conference and presenting in front of the judges was stressful, Medina said the presentation was easy because she knew everyone did their best and it gave her an opportunity to share the team’s brainstorming, filming and editing process and why Lacey’s career is important. 

“Winning second place honestly was a surprise for us because although we were excited we knew that we and Brian deserved this award for all the honest work we went through andl the emotional process that went into the video,” Medina said.

Chen and Medina hope the Braden River High TSA chapter can continue its success next year. 

Chen hopes to try more events that involve teams because most of her events were individual this year. 

“I want to get to know everyone in my chapter better because I’m not sure if I know everyone now. It would be nicer to be closer to them.”

Medina wants to pass on what she’s learned throughout her time in TSA to the younger students. For example, how a video can convey an important message or capture emotion.


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