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FFA banquet is swan song for president

Annual event includes chapter and community awards

News editor

When Marion-Florence FFA chapter met with family and friends Thursday for is annual banquet and awards night, chapter president Carley Stapleford could readily relate to the guest speaker.

FFA state vice president John Kennedy of the Jackson Heights chapter talked about the value of embracing new opportunities as an avenue for growth, even when they might be scary.

“Be a ‘yes addict,’” Kennedy said, “and try new things. When you go outside your comfort zone, you can only grow.”

After yielding the gavel to next year’s president, Devin Soyez, Stapleford said stepping outside her comfort zone characterized many of her experiences in FFA, including leadership.

“I’ve been an officer for the past three years, and from sophomore year to this year I’ve seen major growth,” Stapleford said. “I got the star placement award this year as a senior, and I got to thinking and looking back, and it was funny, I just feel like it was freshman year banquet when I was getting the star greenhand award.”

A rewarding part of the year for Stapleford was seeing an increase in the number of new members.

“Last year we only had six or seven, and this year we had 12,” she said. “It was amazing to double our size of greenhands for being a small school.”

Soyez said he observed numerous things about Stapleford’s leadership style that he learned from.

“She’s always responsible, she always took pride in what she did for the chapter,” he said. “She made sure that she always, and I mean always, showed up for anything and everything. She never took any shortcuts. If it was the right way, she took the right way.”

This year’s officers presided over the banquet and formal awards presentations.

In addition to chapter awards and recognition of community supporters, honorary chapter memberships were given to Chuck and Lori McLinden and Alan and Jenny Stapleford.

Retiring principal Tod Gordon received special recognition for his support of the chapter and was given a pair of collapsible lounge chairs and encouragement from Stapleford to take the opportunity to relax.

Last modified May 2, 2018

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