The primary goals of the three-day retreat was to plan the calendar, identify yearly objectives to help strengthen and continue the growth of its members and program, and strengthen team building skills.
“Our officer team starts the school year with focus, vision, and enthusiasm in leading their organization and our students,” said FFA advisor Natalie Borba. This year’s officer team hopes to encourage leadership, expand personal success, increase participation from current members, and strengthen recruitment of new members. This year’s chapter theme of “Atwater FFA – It’s Showtime!” reflects the continued growth, student involvement, and productivity towards the numerous opportunities of fun, personal growth, and activities the Atwater High School agriculture program and FFA have to offer students. “The opportunities in agricultural education and FFA benefit students beyond academics and agriculture,” said FFA Chapter President Juliet Montanez. “It is an opportunity to gain purpose, direction, self-confidence, and excitement in one’s life.”
One of the leadership retreat’s highlights was the opportunity to visit Treetop Adventure Park on the north shore. The park is composed of a series of courses linking tree platform to tree platform with a variety of bridges and zip lines. Staff and students climbed to an initial tree platform and then traveled through the forest on an aerial trek anywhere from 15 to 75 feet in the air! It was an opportunity to develop and strengthen team-building skills. “This was the highlight of the trip,” said FFA officer Kelsi Kamesch. “The opportunity to team up with a partner and work together, combined with the challenges of the tree course, made for a tremendous experience I will never forget!”
Last year, the Atwater High School agriculture program was recognized as the state’s number one agriculture program by the California Agricultural Teacher’s Association (CATA). “We have tremendous support from our school administration, school district, and our community in supporting FFA and agriculture education as a way to get students involved and provide individuals with purpose, direction and self-confidence in life,” said agriculture instructor and FFA advisor Kaylyn Davenport.
The new officer team is looking forward to the challenges and rewards that the upcoming 2015-2016 school year holds for them. This year’s officer team includes Juliet Montanez, President; Courtney Creighton, Vice President; Dayana Argueta, Secretary; Kelsi Kamesch, Treasurer; Jeff Clark, Reporter; Belinda Espinoza, Sentinel; and Julianna Dailey, Historian. In addition to the Atwater FFA chapter officers, three other Atwater FFA members (Jasmine Flores, Andrew Skidmore, and Amanda Skidmore) joined the leadership retreat as they will be serving as sectional and regional FFA officers within the California FFA Association.
For more information on the Atwater High School Agriculture Department and Atwater FFA, please log on the website www.AtwaterFFA.org .