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Newton has 3 new Master 4-H'ers
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The Georgia 4-H year officially turned over to 2014 on Friday, closing out 2013 with three new Master 4-H’ers in Newton County.

Mary Lathem, an Eastside High graduate, was honored Tuesday with the Don Massey Scholarship of $1,000.

Georgia 4-H awarded 32 college scholarships in this statewide competition, with each recipient earning cash for higher education as well as Master 4-H status.

Lathem will attend Mercer University in the fall.

On Wednesday four Newton 4-H’ers competed in project competition and portfolio discussions.

Their journey began on Jan. 1, 2012, as portfolios cover project work, project sharing, leadership, service and other activities from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 of the previous year. The portfolio looks much like a job résumé, with a cover letter, two pages of writing and two pages of supporting materials. Strong portfolios often are the result of many years of concentration on a project area.

Ken Galloway, a second-year student at Georgia Perimeter College, began his computer project six years ago, focusing on geographic information systems and their impact on water quality since 2008. Galloway earned third place at State 4-H Congress this year.

Alcovy High graduate Cati Aevaliotis focused on food and nutrition projects for most of her 4-H career, and narrowed her focus to food preservation in 2010.

Her demonstration illustrates how to safely and properly dehydrate apples.

Flannery Peay, a rising home-school junior, began developing her 4-H arts project in 2010, although she has worked many years in the area before joining 4-H. She discussed the Pointe shoe in detail in her general recreation demonstration. Will Holder, a rising home-school junior, also spent a great deal of time developing his interest in science before beginning his 4-H project work in power and energy in 2010. He received guidance from April Carman of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory as well as other research scientists as he developed his demonstration on the benefits of nuclear radiation. Holder placed first in the state this year, earning a trip to National 4-H Congress in November and Master 4-H status.

On Thursday, 4-H’ers attended tours around the Atlanta area with donors and other 4-H supporters.

Aevaliotis toured Whole Foods; Holder learned about EMCs at Jackson EMC; Galloway and Peay learned the workings of the Crowne Plaza Ravinia.

The annual closing banquet of State 4-H Congress is a huge production honoring all the project masters and special-events masters from the entire year, and attended by up to 1,000 people attend, including honorees, State Congress competitors, donors, legislators, 4-H faculty, and staff and families. We were honored to have not only Will Holder at the head table this year as a project winner, but also Eastminster School rising senior Trent Fowler, the State 4-H Horse Show hunt-seat winner.

Fowler mastered earlier this summer for the second time in his 4-H career. His state win this year also carries a scholarship award.

Years from now few will remember who won and who didn’t, but I know they’ll each still be on a path guided and in many cases started by their 4-H work. This year I saw four well-researched and confidently presented demonstrations, backed by years of learning and sharing. There was no reading from cards, no trembling and no nearly-cut-off fingers. What a long way we’ve come these past few years.

They asked over and over if I was honest when I said this was the best I’d ever seen each of them present, so I’m putting it in black and white here. Ken, Cati, Flannery and Will: I couldn’t have been prouder than I was watching each of you finish the year with the best presentations I’ve ever seen you make. Your hard work and perseverance have been amazing.

Want to start the 2014 journey with us? Join 4-H in August!


Terri Kimble Fullerton is the Newton County 4-H Agent through UGA Cooperative Extension. She can be reached at