PIQUA — The Upper Valley Career Center FFA Chapter annual banquet and award ceremony was held Thursday, March 30, at the school with 180 in attendance. Following a meal served by Red Barn Catering of Covington, FFA President Cheyenne Parke opened the business meeting and awards presentation.
FFA members who contributed community service through the Environmental Occupations, Landscape Management, and Ag and Power Technologies programs were recognized. It was announced that Ben Brautigam, Brittany Daniel, Zac Gordon and Dietrich Rinehart will be recognized at the State FFA Convention for earning their State degrees. Upper Valley Career Center graduates Brady Garber, Nathan Hampton, Nathan Meyer, RJ Renner, Patrick Schmitmeyer, Darin Seger, Dillon Underwood and Conner Wooley were also recognized for having earned the American degree.
A highlight of the evening was a special presentation to longtime staff members and FFA supporters. Deborah Jung and Jeff Weeks were awarded honorary FFA degrees. Jung has been a counselor at Upper Valley for the past 22 years and will be recognized this summer as the Ohio ACTE Counselor to the Year. Weeks has served as an FFA advisor for the past 33 years, the past 28 at Upper Valley. Both Weeks and Jung are retiring at the end of the 2017 school year.
Additional honors and appreciation were expressed to Lisa Weeks for always supporting the FFA and the Ag Power and Technologies program.
A total of 94 students from the three on-campus programs and graduates were recognized for exceptional sales, community service, program leadership, and competitive achievement, Greenhand degree, Chapter degree, State degree and American degree.
Jason Haak, executive director, said, “This FFA chapter has grown and is accomplishing more and more each year.” Weeks agreed, saying this is the largest group of degree recipients in his 28 years at Upper Valley Career Center.
Lance Reynolds, left, presents an honorary FFA degree to Jeff Weeks in appreciation for his 33 years as an FFA adviser at Upper Valley Career Center.