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The Breeze

The Breeze

Santa Maria High School FFA hosts Leadership Conference

the 2023 South Coast Region FFA Chapter Officer Leadership Conference also offered professional development for visiting teachers in attendance.
Chapter Officer Leadership Conference – Group Photo Photo courtesy of SMJUHSD

On October 7th-8th, 2023, the Santa Maria High School FFA hosted the 2023 South Coast Region FFA Chapter Officer Leadership Conference on the Saint’s campus.

The Santa Maria FFA had 12-chapter leaders attend the conference, in addition to having numerous other FFA members help step up, organize, and clean up the event.

Those in attendance had the opportunity to listen to various speakers and participate in leadership workshops conducted by the California State and Regional FFA leaders. The workshops and activities taught the elected leaders to have a positive attitude and influence within their chapters and community, in addition to teaching leadership skills such as teamwork and listening to one another.

The conference also included a Saturday night program where the different schools had a chance to perform a lip sync routine in the auditorium. The evening concluded with a dance.

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According to junior Kayce Van Horn, Santa Maria FFA Chapter Reporter, “this conference helped my team and I gain leadership skills and grow as individuals. We were also able to learn about other chapters and people, and their backgrounds. My team and I plan to take everything we learned back to our chapter, for the betterment of Santa Maria FFA.”

It was an honor to have this year’s COLC hosted at my home chapter.”

— Melissa Lua Duarte

Melissa Lua Duarte, Regional Secretary and Santa Maria’s Chapter President, stated “It was an honor to have this year’s COLC hosted at my home chapter. This weekend was an amazing opportunity for leaders across the region to bring back skills for their chapters and of course, have fun!”

Principal Steve Campbell stated, “I think the weekend’s Chapter Officer Leadership Conference was a huge success! As always, it was done with the class and professionalism that is expected from our FFA organization. I hope we can host the event in years to come. It was a blast being part of it.”

I hope we can host the event in years to come. It was a blast being part of it.”

— Principal Steve Campbell

Professional development was also available for teachers in attendance and included a Floral Design workshop led by Santa Maria agriculture teachers, Sara Araujo and Amanda Rodriguez. On Sunday, over one hundred agriculture educators from California came together on the SMHS campus to participate in the California Agriculture Teacher Association Fall Regional meeting.

Attending agriculture teacher, Kayla Paglia, and her husband, fellow teacher Joey Paglia, both from Alice Sobrato High School in Morgan Hill, a community outside of San Jose, enjoyed the floral design workshop, along with the rest of the events.  Said Kayla, “we really enjoyed attending the Chapter Officer Leadership Conference at Santa Maria High School! The students and staff did an incredible job making the campus accessible to visitors and it went off without a hitch. We are appreciative that we could use their facilities to train our chapter leaders.”

This event would not have been possible without the support of the administration and sponsorships from our community which included Cal Coast Machinery, United Rental Ag Division, Durant Harvesting, Taylor Farms, and Elmer Barrueta. Furthermore, we appreciate the help from Righetti and Pioneer Valley FFA programs in preparing a Santa Maria-style BBQ dinner for all conference attendees. Santa Maria FFA is one of the largest FFA programs in California with nearly 1,100 student members and 10 Agriculture Teachers, according to according to Saint Ag Teacher Shannon Powell.

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  • SM FFA Officers – Emily Guzman, Jessica Avendano, Perla Delgado, Vanessa Nunez Photo courtesy of SMJUHSD

  • Student Workshops

  • Melissa Lua – SM FFA Chapter President and South Coast Region Officer.

  • SM FFA Officer Team – Jhoana Hernandez, Jessica Avendano, Vanessa Nunez, Melissa Lua, Emily Guzman, Kayce Van Horn, Leslie Rodriguez, Betzy Barrueta, Perla Delgado, Clara Trenado, Karla Vargas, Kareen Martinez

  • Teacher Professional Development

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