Conference in Review
Thirty-five San Luis Obispo FFA Members had an ‘Electrifying’ weekend in Fresno at the 88th Annual California State FFA Leadership Conference. Our members attended six enlightening sessions and listened to keynotes given by two National FFA Officers, as well as Brooks Gibbs and Brad Montague from Kid President. The duo Thompson Square preformed Monday night for the 6,500 attendees. Lastly, we listened to Joelle Lewis and supported her during her retiring address. If you would like to watch any of the sessions from the 88th convention, click on this link and then on “On Demand”
Fresno State Field Day and Career Development Events
On Saturday, April 23, three CDE teams competed at Fresno State. Floral, Livestock, and Veterinary Science all represented SLO. Floral had Erin Lewis, Shannyn McCreary, and Haylee Kim compete. Livestock had Wyatt Judge, Alexa Young, Thomas Phelan, Elisa Garnsey, Stella Boller, and Camille Descamps compete. Wyatt Judge placed 5th high individual for sheep and beef. He was also 3rd high individual overall. Vet Science had Lacey Haas, Clare Backens, Sydney McGovern, and Andrea Cao compete. As a team they placed 3rd overall and Clare Backens was 4th high individual. They are now ranked 3rd in the state out of 80 teams.
Administrators in Attendance
On Sunday, our school Principal Mr O’Connor and District Superintendent Dr. Prater visited our Chapter at the 88th State FFA Leadership Conference Sunday night and Monday. They drove up Sunday afternoon and caught a glimpse of the fourth general session. They sat in at our Chapter meeting that night, while we waited for SLO FFA student, Luke O’Leary, to be slated for State Office. Monday morning came and the Administrators participated in the fifth general session, where we watched our very own Jodi Evans be recognized as the Star Advisor in the entire state. They also went on stage to be recognized by Joelle Lewis, State President. We are very grateful that leaders of our school and district were able to witness this incredible event!
At the California FFA State Conference, students Luke O’Leary, senior, Lauren Hatcher, sophomore, and Dasha Novotny, sophomore, performed in an arena in front of over 6,000 FFA members. Dasha Novotny sang “Jolene”, and an original song. Luke O’Leary and Dasha Novotny sang a duet to “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” Lauren Hatcher sang “Drops of Jupiter” and a Taylor Swift mashup. Congratulations to all of our students who participated in State Talent!
Individual Public Speaking
On Thursday morning SLOFFA had 6 people competing in 5 individual Career Development Events (CDE), with every member continuing to finals and placing in the top 3 in California. Amber Bjerre competed in Job Interview, where a simulation of a job interview is created and the competitor requires a resume. Amber proceed to the final round and placed 1st in California. This is Amber’s 4th time qualifying for Nationals and will compete in October. Kalene Cirone competed in Extemporaneous Speaking where she chose an unknown topic and is required to write a 4-6 minute speech in 30 minutes, followed by open questions. Kalena progressed to the top 4 and placed 3rd in California. Minori Jaggia competed in Impromptu Speaking where you have 1 minute to prepare for a 2 minute speech. Minori proceeded to compete in the finals and placed 3rd in California. Luke O’Leary competed in Prepared Public Speaking requiring him to recite a 6-8 minute speech followed by 5 minutes of open questions. Luke advanced to the final round and placed 3rd in the State. The Creed Speaking contest in a competition where an FFA member recites the 5 paragraph FFA Creed and are asked 3 open questions relating to the Creed open for interpretation. Taylor Young, Janea Huber and Lili Steel competed in the semi-finals and Taylor and Lili continued to compete in the final round. Taylor placed 3rd and Lili placed 1st, continuing to Nationals in October.
Both of our parliamentary procedure teams competed in State Finals, as part of the California FFA Career Development Events (CDE). The members of the advanced team were: Maggie Van Scoy, Callan Treur, Carolyn Adams, Hannah Ryan, J’aime Radding, Minori Jaggia, and Jamie Fritzley. The novice team members were: Lily Svetich, Sophie Maino, Sydney Anselmo, Lili Steel, Janea Huber, Ariana King, Taylor Young, and Zhayle Piurque. Both teams took a written test to show their knowledge in parliamentary law. Then, both teams went into preliminary rounds, moved on to semifinals, and, finally, advanced to the final round where they competed with the top six teams in the state. They were very successful in displaying their skills through debate and parliamentary procedure. With a combination of scores from the written test, the debate round, and oral questions, the rankings were determined. The advanced team placed 4th out of the 24 teams that qualified for state competition. Carolyn Adams was recognized as High Debater in the Advanced competition. The novice team won first place in the state. Sydney Anselmo and Janea Huber were recognized as High Debaters in the Novice contest. The Novice team will go to Indianapolis, Indiana in October to compete for a national title.
On Sunday, April 24, Ella Udlock, Hannah Ryan, Greta Carlson, Minori Jaggia, and Jamie Fritzley competed in the Agriscience Fair competition. These individuals have been working on their research projects since the beginning of this school year. The projects were then all entered as one team into the state competition. After the poster boards were evaluated, the research papers were graded, and a thirty minute interview, the Agriscience team placed 4th in the state. All of these students plan in continuing their research to further their knowledge on their topics.
National Chapter Award and Star Advisor
On Tuesday, April 26th, the San Luis Obispo FFA Chapter received the national chapter award for their outstanding efforts to involve students, community members,and other FFA chapters through social media. Mrs. Jodi Evans was also the recipient of the Star Advisor award for her dedication to her students and SLO FFA. Both Mrs. Evans and the National Chapter Award will move on to the National level.
Joelle Lewis’s Retiring Address
Throughout the conference sessions, the State Officers gave their retiring addresses. During the last session, Joelle Lewis, State FFA President and SLOHS alum, gave her speech entitled “Environmental Change.” Joelle inspired the many members by sharing her story and encouraging students that “we may be products of our environment,” but, ultimately, others “don’t decide who you are – you do.” Throughout her address, she illustrated how she found her passions in music and art. At the end of her speech, she thanked all those who helped shape her life and replaced her FFA jacket with a “Past State President” jacket. All of us at SLO FFA are so proud of Joelle! Her success as State President is truly seen in the impact she made on the lives of thousands of students across the state. Check out her Retiring Address, by going to this link.