COVINGTON, Ga. — Eastside High School FFA program was recently named the 2020 Horticulture Chapter of the Year by Georgia North Region Agriculture Education. According to Eastside FFA advisor Catrina Pollard, the award is based on student results from agriculture competitions during the 2019-2020 school year.
“I was shocked and excited for the kids because they worked so hard throughout the year,” Pollard said. “I just hate that due to COVID and the schools being closed, I was unable to share the award with the kids in person.”
Pollard said her FFA students competed in contests such as floral design, nursery landscape, and floriculture throughout the school year.
“They earn points for the program based on their results,” she said. “In addition to contests, students have to complete proficiency applications and we had students in every single area. We also had two state winners so that gave us many points. That combined with the fact that our students did very well in the contests earned our program a lot of points.”
Because schools closed early in the spring due to COVID, Pollard said at least five contests were cancelled so she had no idea the Eastside program had accumulated enough points to qualify to win the award.
“It’s a tremendous honor and I’m so proud of the students,” she added. “They worked hard throughout the school year and most definitely deserve the recognition.”
“The Eastside Agriculture Education program consistently delivers high-quality instructional opportunities as well as student employability and leadership skill development,” said Dr. Tim Schmitt, NCSS Director of CTAE and Workforce Innovation. “This award recognizes that great work and the program’s focus on horticulture. It’s a testament to a very hard working team of teachers and students.”