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Newton High FFA earns national honors
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Newton High School's FFA Chapter will be acknowledged as a Two-Star National Chapter at the 80th National FFA Convention held in Indianapolis, Ind., Oct. 25 - 27.

The school's FFA Chapter earned this special recognition as a result of the Program of Activities the chapter conducted during the past year. The POA consists of three divisions which the activities must fall under: student development, chapter development, and community development. Each division consists of five activities creating a total of 15 different activities in which members in the chapter can participate.

"Participation was higher last year than ever before, allowing our members the many opportunities to participate in a variety of events," said Ryan Talton, agriculture teacher and FFA advisor.

Some of the activities included a holiday canned food drive, trash pickup on Ram Drive, hosting the local livestock show, operating a petting zoo for the YMCA Indian Guides, conducting a farm day for pre-K students in conjunction with the Farm Bureau, taking members to the State FFA Convention and having recreational activity at each of the FFA meetings held at the school.

"Each of these events was carefully planned at our annual officer's retreat," said Justin Bennett, agriculture teacher and FFA advisor. "They were also photographed and evaluated at the conclusion of the event."

Newton County FFA submitted its application to the State FFA Association last February for judging and was named in the top 10 percent of all chapters in Georgia. The same application was then submitted to the National FFA Organization where it was judged along with other applications from the nation.

"We are extraordinarily proud of our FFA chapter here at Newton High School," said Joe Gheesling, principal of Newton High. "Our teachers and students continuously display the highest levels of enthusiasm and commitment to this very important educational program."

Kathy Reese, Newton County School System director of high school curriculum, added Bennett and Talton have done and outstanding job with the chapter.

"In order for their work to be recognized at the national level, they had to go above and beyond the call of duty," Reese said. "The students at Newton High are fortunate to have such dedicated teachers. We are proud of the accomplishments of this FFA Chapter."