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Ten representatives of the Pioneer Valley FFA will move on to the Regional Speaking Finals on March 23, 2018 to compete and qualify for the State Finals competition after a dominant showing at the Sectional Public Speaking Competition.

Junior Baileigh Ruiz was the winner of the Job Interview Competition. Baileigh filled out an application, submitted her resume and cover letter for a mock job in the field of administrative assistance and finally interviewed with a panel of judges where she exceled and came out victorious. Baileigh is an active FFA member and daughter of Richard Ruiz, the principal at Jimenez Elementary School here in Santa Maria.

Sophomores Danny Morales, Sergio Segura, and Nick Vasquez dominated the impromptu contest with a first, third, and fourth place showing. Only four individuals get to move on and Pioneer Valley FFA will have three of them. These students were able to take an unknown question, quotation, and agriculture related word and instantly give a two-minute speech on its importance and application to agriculture.

Seniors Phibie Ah Yet and DJ Claborn are two of the four regional qualifiers for extemporaneous public speaking. Their ability to research and prepare for twenty different agriculture related issues is one of the most challenging obstacles. Students randomly draw one topic, are given twenty minutes to prepare, and then deliver a six to eight minute speech. When their speech is completed, they answer a variety of questions demonstrating their knowledge for the topic and their potential solution.

Freshman Marissa Arias and Hannah Limon were finalist for the Creed speaking competition. Along with Evelyn Letona and Diana Martinez-Zamora, they will be competing at Regionals. Marissa Arias went on to compete and be a finalist at the UC Davis State Wide Creed Invitational earning a third place finish.

Pioneer Valley had more than 27 students competing in these public speaking contests where they earned the most Regional Speaking Qualifiers in the district. This was one
of the many goals that the Agriculture Leadership class at Pioneer Valley High school had set out to accomplish this year.

Agriculture Instructor and FFA Advisor Mr. Gabriel Ponce stated: “I am very excited for our FFA students here at Pioneer Valley. It took hard work, dedication, and determination to accomplish a goal that they wrote out and repeated constantly. They wanted to be the best and show other students here at school that success is possible when you put your mind to it. With over 600 students enrolled in FFA at Pioneer Valley High School, it is good to see the results of our student’s abilities and work ethic. I am excited to see them continue to succeed at Regional Finals.’’


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