SYRACUSE — Joe Sands, 1980 graduate of Wawasee High School and a former FFA member, was the 2017 alumni honoree during the annual Wawasee FFA Awards Banquet Thursday evening, April 27, in the high school auditorium.
Sands repeatedly shared the impact FFA made on his life and it continues even now. Two nieces, Leeann and Kayla Estrada, are in FFA this year. He challenged the current FFA members to take advantage of every opportunity they get.
After a meal served in the cafeteria, the awards portion began and was presided over by the 2016-17 FFA Chapter officers.
Peg Zimmerman and Chris Fleming were given certificates of appreciation. Chad and Gary Tom and Diana Whitehead were presented honorary FFA Chapter degrees. Pam Unruh and Fran Bowser (also for her deceased husband Doug Bowser) were given the Distinguished Service Award. Janelle Deatsman was unable to attend the banquet, but will also be given a Distinguished Service Award for Maple Leaf Farms.
Then came one of the highlights of the evening, the chapter awards. Sands read the resumes of each winner prior to the winner receiving their award.
Evan Coblentz received the Freshman Leadership Award, Emily Sabin the Sophomore Leadership Award and Reagon Dailey the Junior Leadership Award. Hunter Magiera was given the Chore-Time Brock Senior Leadership Scholarship and Christy Carson and Austin Murphy were presented the Advisors Award. Ashley Beer received the DeKalb Leadership Award.
Clara Hardy was given the Blue and Gold Award, while Coblentz was given the Chapter Star Greenhand. Magiera won the Chapter Star Agribusinessman Award. Elizabeth Zorn received two awards, the Chapter Star Production Agriculture Award and the Chad Beer Memorial Scholarship. Carson was presented the Agriculture Education Scholarship and Magiera received the Ray E. Darr Memorial Scholarship. Zorn also received special recognition for her year of service as chapter president during the current school year.
State career development events pins were presented as well during the awards ceremony. They are as follows:
Small engines — Michael McCulloch, Gabe Sidwell, Chris Sabin and Joel Nyce.
Dairy — Hunter Magiera, who placed second individually at the state level.
Leadership — The ag issues team of Bryce Wuthrich, Elizabeth Zorn, Austin Beer, Taylor Mock and Christy Carson. Austin Beer, Christy Carson, Madelyn Zimmerman and Clara Hardy for agribusiness management, Reagon Dailey for agriscience fair research and Emily Sabin for agriculture education.
Horticulture — Emily Sabin, Gynnae Hochstetler, Laurana Perry, Connor Grumme, Kayla Estrada, Gabe Sidwell, Matt Rhodes, Rebecca Bender and Leeann Estrada.
Soils — Christy Carson, Brooklyn McCulloch, Bryce Wuthrich, Madelyn Zimmerman, Evan Coblentz, Austin Murphy, Lauren Ramirez and Jackson Templin.
Greenhand pins — Destinee Bornkamp, Evan Coblentz, Logan Hollar, Logan Mast, Alexis Matney, Braxton Studabaker, Jackson Templin, Josh Wuthrich and Ryan Zorn.
Chapter pins — Reagon Dailey, Kayla Estrada, Connor Grumme, Isabelle Kloss, Jackson Knafel, Austin Murphy, Matt Rhodes, Emily Sabin and Maddy Zimmerman.
Hoosier degree — Christy Carson, Clara Hardy, Taylor Mock and Elizabeth Zorn.
American degree — Shelby Swartz and Sarah Harden.
Chapter officers for the 2017-18 school year were installed at the conclusion of the banquet. Clara Hardy will be president, Madelyn Zimmerman vice president, Logan Hollar secretary, Isabelle Kloss treasurer, Kayla Estrada reporter, Conner Grumme sentinel and Emily Sabin student advisor.
There were 38 members and 216 guests present. The food services department of the Wawasee Community School Corp. prepared the meal and Maple Leaf Farms provided the entrees.