FFA positive program

Bartholomew County students enjoyed FFA Week at the end of February. The Hope and Columbus chapters competed against each other in the annual Broken Bucket basketball game, and activities during the week included members wearing their FFA dress clothes and Carhartt clothing. Hope FFA members also sponsored a community pancake breakfast and raised money for Relay for Life.

FFA is an intercurricular student organization for those interested in agriculture and leadership but welcomes members who aspire to careers as teachers, doctors, scientists and business owners, according to the national organization’s website.

For county students, FFA is a valuable program that gets them involved in activities and creates a positive experience. It’s worth participating in and supporting.

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Grants help educators

The educational efforts of five local teachers are being aided by $10,000 Teacher Creativity Fellowships from the Lilly Endowment. The Indianapolis-based private foundation supports the causes of education, community development and religion. The grants, to support summer projects, are a tremendous boost for the 100 educators who received them.

Local grant winners were: Aaron Lynott, Columbus East High School; Katherine Stahl, Columbus North High School; Suzanne Diehn, Columbus Signature Academy Fodrea Campus, Gail Robison-Heredia, Northside Middle School; and Trent Shupperd, Edinburgh High School. Their projects range from traveling to the Galapagos Islands to observe whale sharks and study Darwin and biodiversity to studying the glass art of Dale Chihuly.

Not only will the experiences help the teachers, but when they resume classes in the fall their students surely will benefit from the knowledge that is shared.

Welcome aboard

Bartholomew County residents, please welcome Elisabeth Smith (pictured). She’s the new director of the local Purdue Extension office.

Smith said she plans on being in the county long term, so take the opportunity to get to know her. She’ll be involved with the various programs offered to youths and adults.

She grew up in nearby Rush County and was the extension director in Starke County, so she’s somewhat familiar with the area and has experience in this job. Smith is eager to learn about Bartholomew County and what people want from the Extension office.