Local News

Megan Stein named president of Florida FFA

SEBRING - What are the odds that in two out of three years a Highlands County graduate would be selected as president of the Florida FFA organization? Actually the odds are pretty good with a strong FFA program, dedicated agriculture teachers and students who take pride in their efforts in the classroom and in the field or barn. Sebring High 2013 graduate Megan Stein is the new state FFA president, ag resource teacher Gary Lee announced at Tuesday's meeting of the School Board of Highlands County. Avon Park High's Charlie Brown was picked two years ago to serve the one-year term as state FFA president.
At the school board meeting, Stein said, "I am extremely excited and proud to be representing Highlands County for the next year as Charlie Brown did two years ago. "I am not sure when the last county had two presidents within three years, that's quite an accomplishment for our school system." She will be the first female president in four years, Stein noted. The presidency will put a temporary hold on Stein's plans of attending the University of Florida in the fall as she embarks on a busy itinerary. "I will represent over 16,350 Florida FFA members throughout the year; visiting Tallahassee to speak to the politicians at the Capitol," she said. She will be going throughout the state to teach students about agriculture. First Stein will have four days of training in Gainesville this week and then attend a national FFA conference in South Carolina for a few days, where student leaders will learn how to work together as a team for the betterment of FFA. Stein will be going to the municipality of Mayo in Lafayette County to help the Lafayette High School students celebrate their FFA accomplishments. Stein said, "And then I am home for just a few days before I head to Washington, D.C., for a week for the [FFA] state president's conference." So her summer is already planned out, she said. "I am beyond ecstatic to get this year started," Stein said. School Board Chairman Andy Tuck said when he saw Megan in sixth- or seventh-grade, he knew she was "headed to the top just like Charlie Brown. "The FFA in Highlands County is really a big deal. It's a future leadership organization and it's something this county can really be proud of." Stein was one of 37 FFA members from across the state who took part in the presidential screening process on March 2 and 3 that included an individual interview, a written exam, an individual problem-solving activity, a supervised agricultural experience interview, an agricultural education interview and conversational exercise. On March 4, Stein and Wally Martin, of the DeSoto High School FFA, where named as finalists for the FFA presidency. In other FFA news, Lee announced that Sebring High ag teacher Rebekah Wills was selected as a member of the state's agri-science leadership team. The team will go across the state to tour different facets of the agriculture industry and will meet with legislators, he said. "This will certainly be a learning experience for Miss Wills, but I know that she will represent Sebring High School and Highlands County very capably and we are proud of her accomplishments as well as Megan and all the students who received recognition last week at the [state FFA] convention," Lee said. mvalero@highlandstoday.com 863-386-5826