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FFA Class of 2020…an Epic Finale

Dear our FFA Seniors,

For 4 years we have watched you grow, learn, lead, win, lose, laugh, cry, smile and love. As your teachers we cannot express how much our hearts go out to you as you navigate the “lasts” during the finale of your senior year. There have been many “letters” and kind gestures out to seniors on social media lately. Trust me when we say that we have been thinking of YOU and trying to come up with creative ways to recognize you like we usually do for our seniors. Your FFA blue cords are hanging in our Ag department and we will find a way to ceremoniously put them on you through a year end awards banquet. When you started in our program you were excited, ambitious, and ready to jump into whatever opportunities high school and FFA would bring… even public speaking. We want you to embark on the next stage of life the same way.

One of the biggest lessons we have tried to teach you over the years is that it is how you pick yourself up after defeat or a result you were not expecting, truly shows the type of individual or leader you are growing up to be. Whether it was getting 2nd place at a state or national finals CDE / LDE contest when you thought you should have won, having an animal not make weight or ‘not pregnant’ or place last in your class, not getting elected, not getting into a specific college, not getting to compete in your final sport, or not hearing your name called at all, it is the immediate reaction you give that makes you someone to admire for your maturity and grace. We have sat next to you, by your side during these moments, and have helped you process the emotions and frustrations, but more importantly, the moving on part. It is ok to be upset, angry, and even cry, when it is the right time, but then you need to pick yourself up and do the next best thing. If you remember, one of the first things taught you is to always congratulate or thank whoever it is that you just lost to or experienced this time in your lives. Put on your face and be bigger. Show class and respect. People will remember this and truly appreciate it. You have the opportunity to practice this throughout the next couple months before you DO graduate and start the next amazing part of your life journey.

As you continue to think about the things you probably didn’t or won’t get to do, as the Class of 2020 concludes in epic fashion, we wanted to remind you of some of the things you did do…as an amazing group of individuals.

Class of 2020 SLO FFA Seniors… you…

  1. Won countless titles and competed on big stages: from Section, Region, State and Nationals… you did it. In a variety of different contests. From public speaking to veterinary science, Ag communications, Parliamentary Procedure, Farm Power, Floral, Job Interview, and more… you set the BAR extremely high for the next crew of young members.

  2. Attended numerous leadership conferences: GLC, MFE, ALA, State and National conventions to name a few. You have spent countless hours traveling in vans, trucks and airplanes to go all over the country representing our FFA chapter while honing your leadership skills.

  3. You created things. From building projects, restoring tractors, developing videos and professional floral arrangements… you are artistic and detail oriented.

  4. You were the final group of students to know and love Crook the Ag department cat. He walked the halls with you before his final strut. You provided him just as much love and attention as he gave to students daily.

  5. You mentored the next generation. Time after time you took young freshmen under your wing to listen to Creed, speeches, demonstrate practicums, promote opening & closing, parli pro and more… you did it and they watched and listened.

  6. You weathered through Measure D construction and all the fun changes that brought to our daily lives.

  7. You competed and won several project competition awards for your SAE projects.

  8. You shoveled manure, fed, watered, watched, dried, brushed, doctored, and cared for hundreds of livestock projects and continue to do so. You have concrete skills that will take you far after graduation.

  9. You supported and watched your peers get elected to state and national offices.

  10. You have shown community service through Scare Farm, Downtown Holiday parades and multiple service projects helping others.

  11. You dedicated your time to your sports and even won league and CIF titles.

  12. You have met what feels like thousands of FFA members from across the country and established life-long relationships with others.

  13. You completed career technical education pathways and obtained certifications.

  14. You supported one another in times of distress, loss, and family struggles. You have truly been there for one another. We have watched you. You are what makes this community whole.

  15. You have kept your sense of humor and stayed true to yourselves. Continue to do so because the world needs this.

  16. You have made your teachers (us) SO proud. If, ( pause) I mean when, we have yelled or gotten angry at you or showed you “tough love,” you know it is because we love you like one of our own. Along with these moments come shear joy, praise, and humble times where we look back and think about how lucky we are to call you one of us….you are Family.

We have about 50 more days until you throw your graduation hats [somewhere?]. Embrace each day and know you are loved. Choose to be excited for ‘what’s next.’ We have prepared you for this. Probably the hardest high road you will have to take for hopefully quite awhile. We cannot wait to see the incredible things you will do and to finish out your senior year with you. We love you.

Mrs. Bates and Mrs. Evans

Here is a Video we made with LOVE…. to YOU.

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