Sunday, May 14, 2017/Categories: General News, Today's Top 5, Organizations, FFA
It has been 60 years since the FFA was in their school but at the recent State FFA Convention the students of the brand-new Valier FFA Chapter proudly crossed the stage for the first time since some of their Grandparents wore those blue jackets!
Valier FFA Advisor Scott Simmons was first hired to teach Science classes, but when the school realized that he was also certified as an Ag Education Instructor, then it didn’t take long for this agricultural community to get behind the idea of reviving their FFA Chapter.
Simmons still teaches Science, but is now also the first Valier FFA Advisor since 1956.
Valier Superintendent Julie Gaffney recently moved to Valier from the Hinsdale school, which is home to one of Montana’s most successful FFA Programs. She was thrilled when Valier students asked to start the Ag Ed program in their own school. “Those students themselves brought the idea forward, did their homework, and made their own professional presentation to our School Board” said Gaffney, “The Trustees were impressed with the relevancy of the curriculum, and the opportunities for student leadership and personal growth in the FFA.”
Superintendent Gaffney says the school utilized the new “Advancing Ag Education” funding that was authorized by Montana’s State Legislature a few years ago, for the express purpose of providing start-up funds for new Ag Ed programs like theirs. School Board members that approved of creating the new Valier FFA chapter included Don Connelly, Travis Lake, Robin Kratz, Tim Hartwell, and Kenny Peterson.
The original Valier FFA was one of the first in Montana, chartered in 1930. It operated in the school for 26 years, and its last advisor was Don Freeberry who taught from 1950-1956. It is interesting to note that one of the members of the original FFA program was Russell Aiken who graduated in 1956, and now has two grandchildren in the current program, Dustin Steele and DeLaney Aiken.
Valier community members who have volunteered to serve on the Chapters new FFA advisory board include: Andy VanHaur, Kenny Peterson, Tim Hartwell, Gary Kolstie, Megan Warner, and FFA Advisor Scott Simmons.
Left to Right: On stage at the 2017 State FFA Convention, Outgoing State FFA Parliamentarian Jake Michels, presenting Valier students Matthew Connelly, Dalli Peterson, Shiloh Neal, DeLaney Aiken, Spencer Briggs, Chance Peterson, Zachary Stoltz, Dustin Steele, and advisor Scott Simmons