FFA features all-female leadership

The Winters FFA leadership team includes (from left) Reporter Guadalupe Lopez, President Ava Skinner, Secretary Allison Aguiar, Vice President Kiana Miller, Treasurer Mikenzie Hapworth-Eldridge and Sentinel Riley Hurst. (Courtesy photo)

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For the first time in its history, the Winters FFA chapter is brandishing an all-female leadership team. Although the school year has just begun, these leaders have already displayed supreme organizational skills as well as unparalleled chemistry.

Taking on the Presidential role of the FFA chapter is senior  Ava Skinner.

“Overall, it feels really good to be president. I’m a little nervous because my freshman year, and most of my sophomore year, were all during the pandemic. So, I’m a little worried about doing events I’ve never done before. I’m also excited about being a role model for the chapter and helping make decisions,” Skinner said.

Supporting her is senior, Kiana Miller serving as the Vice President.

“Last year was very limited because of COVID, but this year having all our fun stuff back with everybody back working tougher has been really fun,” said Miller.

Filling the role of FFA Treasurer this year is junior, Mikenzie Hapworth-Eldridge.

“I love being Treasurer and having a leadership position. Especially this year because we work so cohesively together and we all have a common goal,” said Hapworth-Eldridge. “We’ve all known each other a long time, even with new additions, we’re just able to get along and work together easily. We came in and became closer friends because of our shared values for the FFA.”

Secretary Allison Aguiar, a sophomore, is looking to make a lasting impact on the FFA as her older brother Joe did as President the year before.

“My brother was an officer, my dad was an officer when he was here — the building is named after my grandpa so there is this expectation on what I’m supposed to do — but I’m looking forward to overselling myself and doing better than my brother,” said Aguiar stirring up a little friendly sibling rivalry. “This year I’m trying to keep things organized. The year can get hectic and crazy and I’m someone who really likes order and my spreadsheets. I just want to take a record of where everything is so we can get ourselves together.”

Stepping up as the FFA Sentinel is sophomore, Riley Hurst.

“I’m in charge of caring for the meeting room and making sure people are welcomed when they come into a chapter meeting,” said Hurst. “I’m looking forward to the opportunities this is going to open like learning how to do better at public speaking, meeting new people and stuff like that.”

This year’s FFA reporter is sophomore, Guadalupe Lopez.

“It’s great being a part of this leadership group. They’re really nice to me, we’re good at working with each other and it’s been nice getting to know the group better too,” said Lopez.

Kayla Mederos, Winters High School ag teacher and FFA advisor, beams with pride at her officers representing just how far females have come in the FFA — especially since young ladies weren’t allowed to join until 1969. This year’s team has provided a smooth experience thus far.

“I have never felt such a sense of calm going into events because things are just taken care of,” Mederos said. “You ask them to do something and they do it, or they think ahead and know what needs to be done. The FFA is just organized chaos, but they’re just like a well-oiled machine.”

However, Mederos laments the lack of young men stepping up to take on leadership roles as well for a fuller representation of all in the organization.

“Having representation and a diverse leadership team is important because it shows all students that they, too, can be leaders and step up to serve their chapter too,” Mederos said.

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