Category Archives: news

Students, faculty advocate at Women’s March

The day after Donald John Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, the Women’s March on Washington (WMOW) brought an estimated 1.7 million protesters to the nation’s capital on Jan. 21, for the biggest inaugural protest in American history. Co-chair of WMOW and social rights activist Tamika Mallory claimed the march was “not anti-Trump, but pro-women.” Over 15 FHS students and at least eight teachers attended.

“It was such an overall positive, empowering experience,” said senior Alex Amirato, who marched for equality for all Americans. “The rhetoric of this election season was not okay, and it made a lot of people feel like their opinion didn’t matter, but coming together with like-minded people was a really good, different feeling.”

The D.C. Metro system reported that this was the second busiest weekend in its history, trailing behind Obama’s 2009 inauguration. Thousands flew in, drove, and took buses from all parts of the country. Senior Madison Luellen got up at 3 a.m. to be at the metro station when it opened at 5 a.m.

“It was definitely overwhelming, but incredible. I participated in the Dakota Access Pipeline protest in D.C. last year, and I thought there was a lot of people then,” Luellen said. “It was nothing compared to the numbers [at the march] on Saturday.”
Luellen stayed in D.C into the night as people continued to march down Independence Avenue.

“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I refuse to respect corrupt authority,” Luellen said. “I was there for all basic human rights, especially the importance of intersectional feminism, which supports women of color and ethnicities. This was a protest on a global level.”

There were large sister marches in downtown Los Angeles, Portland, Miami, and New York City, along with smaller marches across the country and the world, as far away as New Zealand and even on the coasts of Antarctica.

“It was amazing to see the enthusiasm and the hope that democracy in action can make a difference,” librarian Rebecca Isaac said. “Everyone, no matter what side you are on, deserves to be respected and loved. We had a peaceful march and a positive showing, and I have a deep sense of gratitude that in our country we have the privilege to do that.”
Junior Tatjana Shields advocated for the acceptance and celebration of diversity at the march and has been inspired to continue to take action in her community.

“At this march, I felt empowered like never before to stand up for what I believe in [and] for what is right,” Shields said. “Some focuses of mine were the recognition of Muslim rights; the Islamophobic reaction across the country because of someone’s religion kind of sickens me. I also believe in the Black Lives Matter movement; black Americans have been at the end of the totem pole for a very long time. It’s about strengthening the relations we have together.”

Freshman Macy Major went with her mother, English teacher Jennifer Major.

“I was really lucky to go with my mom,” Major said. “She’s very supportive, and I know not all parents are like that; it was very empowering to go with another woman in my life.”

The march was criticized in articles and social media posts from both men and women who strongly opposed the it and its platform. Junior Ben Nesbit attended the March for Life in D.C. the Friday following the women’s march and advocated for defunding Planned Parenthood.

“I think they need to get over it. The Democrats lost, and because they haven’t lost in a while, they’re just not used it,” Nesbit said. “I believe that every person has a right, and I marched for those who couldn’t speak for themselves. I feel like the women’s march kind of took that right away from people, which is sad. People are going to hate me for this, but they can hate me.”

Senior Max McDaniel-Neff, who attended the women’s march with his family and senior Aidan Kierans, viewed the march differently; he said that the protest was peaceful and everyone was supportive of each other.

“I was there to support Planned Parenthood, and that women still need to be respected,” McDaniel-Neff said. “The fact that Donald Trump even got elected shows that sexual assault is still a pretty big deal.”

Senior Victoria Rucka, who is an exchange student from the Czech Republic, was able to participate in the march and observe American politics up close and in action. Her country had its own women’s rights march in the capital city of Prague last year, but she said that it’s unlikely that her country would elect a female leader in the near future.

“I think [American politics] are going to get worse. A lot of things over here would never happen in my country,” Rucka said. “ I don’t think we’ll have a woman president [in Czech Republic] any time soon; a lot of people wouldn’t have a lot of respect for her simply because she is a woman, and most of the people in the government are men.”

Spanish teacher Karen Falcon had a unique perspective and reason for attending the women’s march with her oldest daughter. The Affordable Care Act, enacted during the Obama administration, helped Falcon’s family members obtain health care, a right that many people take for granted.

“I grew up overseas, and so I was always conscious of being an American and being patriotic,” Falcon said. “So for me, patriotism stands for democracy, freedom of expression, and diversity. To see the country pulling away from those things makes me worried. I think those things are our biggest strength. It’s important for people internationally to see that Americans can argue about opinions, yet still maintain a strong democracy.”

~julia sexton, news director

Theater students deliver superior performances

From Feb. 3-5, eight theater students attended the International Thespian Society (ITS) Festival at Virginia Tech University, performing musical numbers for judges to qualify for a spot at nationals this summer.

Chaperoned by theater teacher Emmet Bales, seniors Peyton Evans, Ben Rawlins, Luisa Turner, and Owen Connolly and juniors Tatjana Shields, Charlotte Langford, Arielle Ward and Andrew Perrius represented the school in its first ITS competition.

“I sang “Bobbles, Bangles and Beads” from Kismet,” Langford said. “That’s one of those songs where people ask, ‘What if opera didn’t only have singing? What if it had lyrics, too?’”

In addition to performing, the students could choose from 120 workshops to attend that covered a variety of topics relating to theater, including costuming and tech design.

“So, in our downtime from performing, we were attending workshops about auditions, education, technique, careers in theater,” Evans said.

Rawlins, Evans, Langford, Shields, and Perrius all received superior medals; however, Rawlins not only qualified for his individual performance but also in a duet with Perrius from Les Miserables. These students have qualified to attend nationals in Lincoln, Nebraska, during the summer.

“We all qualified for individual events, which means we’ll take what we did at Tech, perfect it even more to fit the national rubric, and see if we can get a superior on the national level, which is even harder,” Evans said. “It has over 500 workshops per day and is a huge event. It would be great if we could go.”

While at the conference, Evans learned about the other options in the theater field and gained a better understanding of her capabilities in each area.

“Everything I did there helped with my flexibility, personability, and the abilities that I can take to the other areas of my life even if I don’t pursue theater,” Evans said.

Bales said that each student performed music from each genre of theater; he couldn’t be more proud of his students, considering this is their first year of attending the program.

“That’s what theater is about: bringing your best to the game and doing what you can,” Bales said. “As a teacher, you sit back and think, this is worth the 15 cents [I’m being paid] to do this.”

~erica gudino, editor-in-chief

Palmer’s achievements in coaching winter guard receive accolades, recognition

In addition to a teaching load of three AP English Literature classes, and his administrative duties as the English department head, Lindell Palmer has a demanding schedule as coach, teacher, and director of two winter guard teams. He also consults with two other high school teams, and he volunteers to choreograph and teach routines to the FHS color guard.

Palmer directs the Stonewall Independent winter guard, a team that is currently ranked sixth in the world by Winter Guard International (WGI). Moreover, Palmer coaches Westfield High School’s winter guard team, which in 2015, its first year, took a gold medal at the Atlantic Indoor Association competition. He estimates that he works an additional 36 hours each week from November to mid-April, coaching his teams to reach their highest potential and hoping to spread the sport’s popularity.
Palmer became interested in the sport as a sophomore in high school because he had a crush on a girl who did color guard.

“One day I was talking to her after school, and she was spinning a rifle. She said it was really hard, but I said it looked really simple, so I started doing it. I had a natural talent at it,” Palmer said. “She was impressed, so she went and got her guard instructor. He came and watched me do it; then he got the band director, and they all watched me do it. They were all impressed that I could do it with no training, so that’s how I began.”

In a strange twist, after Palmer agreed to join the team, the girl dropped out of color guard, but he had already found his love for the sport. Palmer joined an independent team called Revelation, located in Richmond, while attending William and Mary. He also began coaching teams.

“My first coaching gig was Denbigh High School,” Palmer said. “I taught them a routine, and I got a little money for that, so I thought, ‘Hey, this is nice.’ After that I went and taught at several different schools in Williamsburg while I was in college, and then I started working at Liberty High School.”

Although color guard is traditionally performed outdoors and accompanies the marching band, winter guard is performed indoors to recorded music. Teams are divided into Scholastic or Independent divisions by WGI classifications. Scholastic winter guard teams consist of members who all attend the same high school, while Independent teams are not connected to a school and membership is more selective.

Palmer’s specialty is winter guard. Described by WGI as the “sport of the arts,” winter guard is based on military ceremonies and combines many different skills, including choreography and dance, theatre, gymnastics, costuming, and the spinning of flags, swords, and rifles.

“Today’s top winter guards really are giving you an entire performance, and it involves a lot of dance and acting,” Palmer said. “When you watch some of the best color guards in the world, it is art; they are producing art. They are taking stories that you know or famous art pieces and making them come alive on the floor right in front of you. It’s like watching the rhythmic gymnasts you see at the Olympics. It’s hard to believe what they’re doing.”
According to Palmer, although winter guard is very popular in Texas and the northeast, it is slowly receiving recognition locally.

“There are independent teams that are treated like professional sports players, so there are people that follow them and buy their gear, [but] people that don’t hear about it, don’t even know that it exists,” Palmer said. “A couple years ago, there was a major competition here at Fauquier High School. Most of the students didn’t even know that it occurred, and didn’t realize the caliber of the performers here at their school.”

Palmer enjoys working with the high school teams, including the FHS color guard, Westfield, Pride of Prince William County, and Herndon High School, because of the bonds he forms with students as he watches them progress through four years of training. However, from an artistic standpoint, he has found that independent teams are more satisfying to coach.

“First of all, the ages vary, so independent teams normally go from age 15 to 23, and so you have a lot more mature individuals participating in it. That makes a big difference,” Palmer said. “They are more focused; they come there because they already love what they’re doing. You can push them harder, so we have more intense rehearsals, longer rehearsals, because they are there for a purpose, and they enjoy what they do.”

Palmer began directing at Stonewall Jackson High School in 2004. In 2013, Palmer’s high school team transitioned to Independent class, and he took them to the largest competition in the country to compete at the WGI world championships. He had been coaching some members of the team for three years, so the team had progressed and formed very tight bonds.

“I didn’t want to separate them because they were so good,” Palmer said. “Some kids were getting ready to graduate, so I said, ‘Let’s try to go as far as we can.’ The kids themselves did not believe they could do that well because they were from a small school from Virginia.”

Some parents were concerned that these ambitions would result in failure and that Palmer was setting them up for disappointment. However, these fears disappeared when the team placed first at regionals.

“We went to our first regional, and we won it without question. It was just funny because I went in and told the kids that our goal was to make finals at the regional, but not only did we make finals, we went first place across the world,” Palmer said. “At that point I realized that we had something special, and we could probably medal at world championships.”

The team went on to capture the silver medal at the WGI world championship in its first year of competition, and it has made it to the finals every year since 2013.
Palmer’s reputation has grown along with the success he has brought to the teams he has coached. Since his start with Stonewall, all of his coaching jobs have resulted from schools or programs contacting and recruiting him. In March, 2016, he was inducted into the AIA Hall of Honor for his contributions to the sport.

“It was quite the honor; I wasn’t expecting it at all. They don’t tell you ahead of time, so I had no clue it was coming, but when they called my name I realized that my parents were there and all of my friends that had been notified,” Palmer said. “There were several students that I had taught in the past who are now directors, as well. It was a nice feeling seeing all of my students out there supporting me and people that I had marched with when I was much younger.”

Palmer still works with former students through Stonewall Independent and as a mentor for those who have gone on to coach. Devon Robinson first met Palmer when he joined the winter guard at Stonewall Jackson. Palmer’s teaching allowed Robinson to excel in winter guard, and after graduating, he now works as Palmer’s assistant.

“I think Mr. Palmer’s strengths as a coach are his limitless creativity and composure during the hectic and stressful moments of rehearsal,” Robinson said. “I am astounded whenever I see his choreography for the group. When Mr. Palmer works with our group, he’s building a foundation for excellence and opportunity for the future.”

~nathaniel thomason, staff reporter

Top left: Lindell Palmer does a warm up routine in 2011 with the Stonewall High School winter guard before competition to help the performers breathe, stretch, and relax. Several performers went on to join Stonewall Independent (below left), who are shown in the final pose of the 2016 World Championship at which the team placed sixth in the world. Right: Stonewall Independent strikes the opening pose for their 2015 World Championship performance. The team placed ninth in the world.

Students study Civil War history, culture

Junior Travis Frost falls to the ground after “being shot” during drilling exercises at the National Guard Armory. “We [did] Civil War company drills,”  Frost said. “[It helped us understand] how the [battle] formations worked.”

 

In the required U.S. history class, students must learn over 400 years of material, allowing little time to focus on a time period that interests them. However, students in the American Civil War elective have the opportunity to study in depth the political and social causes of the conflict, the military actions, and the results of the battles during this critical time in American history. According to teacher Liz Monseur, students realize how complicated the Civil War really was.

“I want my students to embrace the fact that the war is much more complex than what teachers have time to cover in a typical history class,” Monseur said. “It has left us, as Virginians, living in the middle of its history and trying to preserve the memory of it, bad and good.”

The class had been offered at FHS for years, but registration waned when the previous instructor, Richard Deardoff, left to teach at Kettle Run. Interest in the class renewed, however, and currently 13 students are enrolled. The course begins with the colonial era, rather than the opening shots at Fort Sumter, to help students understand the deep-rooted differences between the north and the south that would ultimately lead to war.

“I think that’s what really surprises students; they have no idea how much these people thought of each other as almost a different species,” Monseur said. “Their value systems were so different.”

Students study Victorian culture and customs, Civil War photography, and soldiering, as well. According to senior William Usrey, the class also provides insight into the parallels between the 1860s and today; racial tensions still exist, and the division between the north and south is still clearly seen.

“[Living] here and living in Georgia, you can see cultural differences, and the tension is still there towards the north. A lot of people in Virginia and Georgia still hate the northerners just as much, but not necessarily for the same reasons, that they did [during the Civil War]. We just see them as very different; the culture is completely different.Everything is a lot more fast-paced the farther you go up north.”

To help students gain a deeper understanding of the war, Monseur uses maps from the era, letters, diary entries and books, and hands-on experience. Monseur brought in a reenactor to teach the class how to drill, using yardsticks instead of weapons. In a field trip to Clark Brothers Gun Shop, students were able to shoot replica Springfield .58 caliber rifled muskets from 1861, and Monseur plans to teach dances from the era later in the course. The class took a walking tour of Warrenton, which changed hands 67 times over the course of the conflict, to learn about the Civil War’s impact on local history.

Most recently, the class took a field trip to Gettysburg, the site of one of the most important and pivotal battles of the war. Deardoff accompanied the class to give students a greater understanding of the battle.

“He knows everything about the Civil War,” senior Sarah Kamphuis said. “Hearing him tell all of these funny stories about it, and actually being there on the battlefield and seeing the monuments, was just really interesting. It just kind of ties everything that you’ve learned together.”

According to Kamphuis, the class increased her knowledge of the Civil War and her understanding of the two sides.

“We kind of live in an awkward location because we’re not like the north and we’re not like the south,” Kamphuis said. “We are kind of in the middle, and it’s hard for us to understand both sides, but now I feel like I understand both sides and the Civil War makes a lot more sense to me.”

The class has helped Usrey understand the complexity of the war, since there wasn’t a true “good” or “bad” side.

“You grow up in elementary school with them saying the north was good and the south was bad, and the south had slavery and that’s why they were bad, but that’s not it at all,” Usrey said. “The [northerners were] still horrible racists; they just didn’t have slavery. It’s just a much bigger understanding of the reasons they did what they did.”

~katie johnston, features/arts director

Cube condition causes concern

The cube, a 1979 addition to the original 100s hallway that was left as a standalone structure when the new building was built, is enjoyed by many teachers and students for its access to the courtyard and large classrooms. It serves as home to the language and business departments, but it’s also becoming known for its growing list of problems, including the condition of the bathrooms, pests, and the lack of electrical outlets.
According to Assistant Principal Kraig Kelican, however, the issue creating the most concern is the condition of the heating and air conditioning units.

“When you have condensation leaks that then go through the floor and then go through the ceiling below, it creates additional problems,” Kelican said. “I think overall, the building itself is in decent shape, but the heating and air conditioning is the biggest problem.”

The issues with the drainage of the units have caused leaks and even flooding in some rooms.

“If you notice the water that drips from upstairs, that’s coming from the units upstairs,” French teacher Nicole Goepper said. “Best case scenario, they drip outside of the building, but the real scenario is that they drip down into the classrooms below them.”

According to marketing teacher Kathleen Lynch, teachers have no control over the thermostat, so the classroom environment is almost never a comfortable temperature.

“It’s either blowing cold air or it’s blowing really hot air, and the thermostat doesn’t seem to be able to detect any kind of normal temperature,” Lynch said. “I have full classes, so when students get in here, the AC itself is not able to keep up with the body heat.”

The situation has often been a source of discomfort and distraction for students during class.

“It’s just too hot,” senior J.R. Sweeney said. “I don’t want to sweat all over my clothes at school. It’s kind of hard to focus on getting your work done when it’s a thousand degrees.”
The school administration and the Department of Facilities and Construction are currently exploring options to solve the problem.

“Right now, we’re just doing the best we can with what’s down there,” Kelican said. “They are so old that we’re just trying to keep them running until we can get a plan in place. It’s up to our facilities department, but I know that they’re actively looking at the scope of the project and the money. I anticipate [a solution in] the very near future.”

Kelican hopes that the HVAC units currently installed in the cube will be replaced with more eco-friendly and energy-conserving units.

“Since we went with the geothermal system in [the new] building, I’m sure they would like to focus on energy efficient units because they pay for themselves in the long run,”

Kelican said. “That’s what the goal’s been in the new building, and I’m sure we’ll carry it over to [the cube].”

Before construction of the new building, the cube was originally slated for demolition, but after looking at projected enrollment and the need for classroom space, the decision was made to renovate it, even though money for large repairs, such as those needed for the HVAC units, was limited. The bathrooms were renovated to be handicap accessible, the facade of the building was redone, and the interior was repainted.

“[The renovations] were cosmetic things that we could do fairly inexpensively and [that] would have a greater impact on aesthetics,” Kelican said.

According to Kelican, renovations to fix the current problems are critically important to providing a suitable environment in which students can learn.

“I think it plays a factor in a conducive learning environment,” Kelican said. “I think if you want an environment where kids can learn, it has to be comfortable, and temperature is usually one of the things that can be easily remedied.”

~katie johnston, features/arts director

School community loses talented chemistry teacher

On Thursday, Oct. 13, when chemistry teacher John Thomas was found dead at the young age of 28, the administration was faced with the difficult task of breaking the news to students and staff, and with offering grief counseling

“It was very sad for all of us,” Principal Clarence Burton said. “I was immediately in contact with Frank Finn, the assistant superintendent. He contacted experts and followed their advice. We brought in mental health professionals to help the students when they needed it. We really wanted to help people as much as we could.”

Senior Anna Hiner had Thomas for two years for chemistry and AP chemistry.

“Mr. Thomas was easily one of the best teachers I’ve ever had,” Hiner said. “He was really honest with his students. If someone was [struggling] at something, he would tell them that, but then work with them to fix the problem. If I didn’t understand something, I knew I was always welcome to come to him for extra help. Mr. Thomas made every student feel like they were his favorite student.”

Senior Peyton Evans also had Thomas for several classes, including chemistry, AP chemistry, and a chemistry independent study.

“Mr. Thomas was the type of teacher that you knew was so passionate in what they do. He did everything he could to make sure his students loved coming to class. From good music to fun extra credit trivia, chemistry was always a fun place to be,” Evans said. “He was understanding and would always tell you like it was. He had so much faith in each and every one of his student’s success. In the end, we all started believing in ourselves and in chemistry, too, even if the comical complaints ensued well into AP.”
Thomas had a personality that resonated with students.

“Mr. Thomas was a great person to just talk to,” Hiner said. “He was really sarcastic and funny. We could talk to him about anything, whether it was chemistry-related or not. I think that not just me, but other students, as well, feel like they’ve not only lost a great teacher, but a friend. I feel a little selfish because I know that I won’t be able to have him as a teacher anymore, and that really bothers me.”

Evans enjoyed Thomas’s sense of humor.

“He was lighthearted, motivated, and a complete jokester. He was always motivating me to do more in chemistry and pushed me to to pursue higher studies in a field I already loved,” Evans said. “That’s one of the things I’ll miss most about him, that and him making fun of me being a nerd, even though he’s just as much of one. I’ll miss his music and trading playlists with him at the start of every week.”

Losing Thomas so unexpectedly has made it difficult for students to accept, and the reality still not sunk in for some.

“I mentally couldn’t grasp what happened. I cried all weekend, and I see him in everything I do,” senior Lexi Boone said. “Losing a teacher so unexpectedly is something that I never want to experience again or want anyone else to experience. I’ve seen him and talked to him everyday for two years, and now it’s gone and I don’t know how to feel about it. It’s like he’s not dead, but just gone on vacation or something.”

Evans also had a hard time coming to grips with the loss of Thomas.

“When I first heard the news, I was speechless,” Evans said. “There’s still a part of me that’s holding on and saying that he’ll be back in class next week, laughing. All I have left is his memory and my motivation to make him proud.”

If students are still experiencing grief or are having a hard time coping with the loss, the administration stresses the importance of getting help.

“The best thing you can do is talk to somebody, especially an adult [like a] teacher or a parent. Everyone handles grief in different ways, and we want to be there to help people and put them in contact with those who can help them,” Burton said.

In memory of Thomas, students painted the rock in the courtyard after school on Oct. 17, a tradition that has been in the school for decades.

“We painted the rock as a tribute to Mr. Thomas,” Boone said. “The rock has always been something students use to get a message out to the school, and I thought that everyone should have a glimpse of the life he lived, whether they had a chance to meet him or not. He was such an amazing person, and he deserved to be remembered in a remarkable way. Naturally, painting the rock with everything he loved and stood for was something we really wanted to do.”

Evans believes that Thomas instilled a sense of school pride that all students should follow.

“Mr. Thomas had more support for his students and fellow teachers than I have seen in most people. He was always there to give extra help in a tough chapter or go see his students play soccer at Kettle Run. He would even be the first to volunteer to supervise theatre rehearsals,” Evans said. “I believe that it’s important to learn something from this and come together as a school to keep up that support for our classmates. Go to those band concerts, those soccer games, those musicals, those poetry readings more [often]. Support who you go to school with. It’s what he would have loved to see.”

~emma dixon, copy production editor

FFA prepares students for the future

Senior Camden Franklin poses with TV veterinarian Dr. Jan Pol and his wife Diane Pol. Dr. Jan Pol stars on the Nat Geo Wild television show The Incredible Dr. Pol.

 

From the competitions to the national convention, the activities that FFA members participate in contribute to one goal: career development. Competitions are designed to enhance each student’s knowledge of the agriculture business and its influence locally, according to FFA advisor Susan Hillary.

“FFA is developing students for careers in agriculture,” Hillary said. “Even if people don’t have a career in agriculture, they have a better understanding of agriculture. As they go into their adult life and make purchases and decisions, they have a basis that helps them make better decisions.”

FFA started the year off strong by participating in the state fair in September. Students competed in a variety of events over a span of three days, including a horticulture demonstration and crop and forestry events. Junior Ben Scaring competed in the log throw in which he had to throw a four to six foot pulpwood log.

“I had to throw a 40 pound log and I threw it 21 feet,” Scaring said. “[The toss] was different than I expected; I expected the log to be a lot smaller than it was, so I went in with a different mindset than what it needed to be.”

Freshman Mack Barney competed in a one-man saw competition, and sophomore Josh Carl and freshman Logan Risden competed in the two-man saw competition. In both, participants had to saw through a six-inch thick log within the time limit of two minutes.

“It was hard work,” Carl said. “You just have to really push yourself to get it done. It was completely different at the competition than at school; they had pressed the log which made it harder.”

On the final day, seniors Devyn Martino, Justin Barron, Tyler Newman and junior Katie Crow competed in a crop judging competition in which they judged and identified a panel of seeds. Overall, FFA placed third among 35 other schools.

“It was pretty hard,” Martino said. “Some classes were easier than others, like the red clover was easy. I expected it to be a bit challenging, but this was my second year competing in it so I had a bit more experience.”

FFA celebrated homecoming by decorating FFA advisor Dennis Pearson’s hay wagon to ride in at the homecoming parade. The float was pulled by the club’s new tractor and rode in the beginning of the parade, proudly displaying a colorful banner. They also had a social event in the agriculture shop before the homecoming football game, with food and drinks.

“It was by far the best float in the parade,” Pearson said. “Overall [the parade] was nice. I’m glad it didn’t rain since it was threatening.”

On Nov. 3 FFA will be hosting the annual Food For America event on the FFA field from 10 am to 1pm. At this event, 25 different stations are set up, varying from presentations about machinery safety to welding to animals, for fourth graders from local elementary schools to come and explore. Students are welcome to come during advisory to learn about the different aspects of agriculture.

“It’s going to be a big event,” Pearson said. “We have a lot of [participants] and are going to have a lot of animals out there.”

FFA seeks to spread in-depth knowledge about agriculture to the club members and the community.

“[FFA members] have belonging—an organization that they can belong to and the sense of an identity,” Hillary said. “They can get a lot of experience for resumes or an application. It’s an opportunity to be a leader and make a difference.”

~nina quiles, managing editor