On June 16, 2017, Kristy Shafer, Agriculture PTECH Principal, Hamilton- Fulton- Montgomery (HFM) BOCES, welcomed attendees to the inaugural HFM Ag PTECH FFA Awards Banquet and ceremony.
The new FFA Chapter was implemented under the leadership of NY Association of Agricultural Educators 2017 Outstanding Teacher, PTECH FFA Advisor Julia Hudyncia.
“Starting a chapter included electing officers and applying through NYS FFA and National FFA for a charter,” said Shafer, who credits Hudyncia for her “vision, leadership, and commitment.”
“Many of the students had never heard of FFA,” explained Hudyncia. “We began holding meetings once a week to learn and figure out our program of activities. From there the students had an officer team, service projects and a program of activities that allowed for us to become chartered as a chapter. The students took part in National Convention, 212/360 Leadership Conference, and competed at Districts, sub states and state competition this year.”
Guest speaker at the event was Jim Ford, who had received an Honorary Empire Degree at the 2017 State Convention.
Addressing the students and assembly, Ford said he was honored to have been invited to speak at the first annual banquet. “But I would like to mention another honor that I received recently; being awarded an Honorary Empire Degree at the State Convention was certainly a high point of my career. It is the highest honor to be achieved at the state level.”
Ford also commented on the HFM FFA program. “Your facility here in St. Johnsville, is a wonderful setting for the Ag PTECH program and its FFA component. We are here tonight to honor that component. As I have witnessed, it is off to a fine start in its first year.”
Ford, who had worked with Hudyncia previously, said that a great program needs a great instructor. “You have the best; Ms. Julia Hudyncia.”
Ford remarked that he was amazed at how much Hudyncia can fit into one day and the wealth of opportunity that she presented to her students.
“I know that Ms. Hudyncia is a stickler on the five Rs: reading, writing, arithmetic, respect and responsibility. And from what I understand, the students here are practicing all five.”
The quote, “Some people dream of success, while others wake up and work hard at it,” by Winston Churchill, was used to describe what the new Chapter members had achieved during their first year.
FFA members received Greenhand Degrees, officers were recognized and Leadership Awards were distributed by Hudyncia to: Madison Blood, Kristiana Cowan, Jenna Finch, Ethan Harding, Dan Jonker, Michelle Joyce and Maddison Kilmartin-Gugliemelli, Noah Kocjan, Ben Littrell, Kristen Quist, Zach Reid, Victoria VanHousen, Stephen Ulman, Adam Feagles and Jeb Brundage.
Leadership awards were presented to: Madison Blood, Outstanding Leadership; Jeb Brundage, Outstanding Service; Michelle Joyce, Outstanding Dedication; and Maddison Kilmartin, Outstanding Achievement.
The retiring Officer Team of 2016- 2017 included Adam Feagles, Jeb Brundage, Maddison Kilmartin-Gugliemelli, Madison Blood, Michelle Joyce and Noah Kocjan.
Incoming 2017-2018 officer include, Maddison Kilmartin-Gugliemelli, Noah Kocjan, Kristen Quist, Kristiana Cowan, Madison Blood, Ethan Harding and Jeb Brundage.
Dr. Patrick Michel, HFM BOCES District Superintendent, commented on the outstanding performance of the new HFM FFA. “We are very proud of our partnership with the FFA and look forward to years of great work on behalf of our students,” stated Michel.