Signal Knob Middle School's FFA Chapter (Strasburg, VA) has been named the top Middle School FFA Chapter in America. This award was announced October 31 at the National FFA Convention held in Louisville, Kentucky. In mid-August the Signal Knob Chapter had been selected as one of five national finalists.
Early in the summer, Signal Knob's FFA Chapter had been selected the top Middle School Chapter in Virginia and also the top Overall Chapter in Virginia at the 2013 state FFA Convention held in Blacksburg, VA. The Overall category included both middle and secondary schools.
The Middle School state level award secured their spot at the national level. Following the state convention, Jaclyn Roller, FFA Advisor and Agriculture teacher, added the required photos and captions to their national application and submitted it for consideration. She knew that being named the best chapter in the nation required that a chapter first be selected as one of five finalists, and throughout the summer, she and her students waited for news.
Roller was at a yard sale on August 9 when she received a text message from Sherry Heishman, agriculature teacher and FFA advisor at Central High School, telling her the good news. Roller raced from the yard sale to her parents’ home to check out the National FFA website for herself. And there it was in alphabetical order:
2013 National Chapter Award Generated 8/7/2013 10:54:27 AM
Outstanding Middle School Finalists
Chatham Middle FFA of Virginia
Lincoln Middle FFA of Florida
Signal Knob Middle School FFA of Virginia
South Sumter Middle School FFA of Florida
Tomlin Middle FFA of Florida
The competition continued this week (October 30 - November 2) at the National FFA Convention in Louisville, Kentucky. Each of the top five middle school finalists had selected two of their students to be interviewed and to make a twenty minute slide show presentation.
Hannah Orndorff and Nathan McDonald represented Signal Knob Middle School.
Hannah Orndorff and Nathan McDonald conduct
a session on how to be an FFA officer at the Blast-Off
"I get goose bumps,” said Roller in an interview last August, “at the opening of the National FFA Convention. There is a “sea of blue and gold” created by 50,000 students in their jackets. “The music, laser show, national officers on the stage, the motivational speakers---it’s eye opening “
This year’s National FFA Convention was bound to have been a major goose bumps event for Roller and her students. Hannah and Nathan presented Signal Knob's PowerPoint and were interviewed on October 30. It was probably a long night and a long day before the final announcement came on October 31 about 2:30 PM.
All five middle school finalists were on the stage together as they waited to hear what turned out to be great news for Signal Knob Middle School and all of Shenandoah County, Virginia. After summarizing the work of all five finalists, the announcer paused. "The winner is Singal Knob Middle School!" she exclaimed.
In addition to the Chapter competition, two Signal Knob FFA students, Amelia Guthie and Tiffany Heishman, qualified for the National Agriscience Fair. These results are not yet available.
Congratulations, Signal Knob Middle School FFA students and Jaclyn Roller, agriculture teacher and FFA adviser.