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Teachers,

As I reflect back on this year and specifically State FFA Convention this
past week, I am so thankful to be a part of such a wonderful group. I had
the opportunity to spend time with several former state officers who had
not attended the convention since it moved from the FFA Camp. It was great
to see the convention fresh through the comments they made. Each one was
truly inspired and captivated by the degree to which our program has
grown--both in quantity and quality. Ultimately, though, I think each one
was grateful to know that the foundational principles our organization was
founded on are still alive and well in today's agriculture education
programs.

We are truly blessed and I am thankful for all of the great agriculture
teachers we have that are making opportunities come to life for their
students. I remembered a poem I saw years ago and saved, called
"Excellence."  I encourage you to print the copy I have attached here and
share it with your students. It emphasizes that excellence just doesn't
happen--people make it happen!

As I watched the various awards sessions this past week, I realized that
there are many chapters out there that have created a culture of
excellence---it is expected in those programs. This yields more excellence
in those chapters. The students know that it is expected of them, and at
the same time, they know they have an agriculture teacher who is going to
give them 110% so that they can achieve their fullest potential. Thank you
to each of you who have worked and are working to create that type of
culture!

If your program has not yet achieved a culture of excellence, I encourage
you to spend some time before the next year starts in specifically planning
ways and setting goals to achieve success. If there is anything I can do or
anyone in our office can do to assist you, please let us know.

--
Lynn Barber, Ed.D.
South Region Agricultural Education Director
Georgia Young Farmers Executive Secretary
Georgia Department of Education
ABAC 34, 2802 Moore Hwy.
Tifton, GA 31794
229-386-3428 (office)
912-584-8442 (cell)

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*"Making Education Work for All Georgians"*