Wapsie Valley FFA students made final preparations for their third straight trip to the National FFA Convention, this year in Louisville, Kentucky.
The chapter left Sunday, October 27th for the week-long competition. Of 25 categories in the national competition, Wapsie Valley is representing Iowa in Parliamentary Procedure and Conduct Meeting.
Wapsie Valley's instructor is Ellen Doese. She's originally from Shell Rock, graduated from Iowa State, and came to Wapsie Valley in 1983.
"I just wanted to make sure students number one appreciate agriculture, number two understand all the opportunities involved in agriculture, and number three develop as an individual," said Doese.
2008 Wapsie Valley grad and volunteer coach, Ashley Beierschmitt, nominated Doese for "Someone You Should Know."
"She puts the chapter first, and is always saying we can do this next year. Always finding ways to improve the chapter," said Ashley Beierschmitt.
Wapsie Valley is the only Iowa chapter to have ever earned a silver (or second place) rating at nationals. Students said the chapter's continued success is a product of Doese's dedication, not only to the chapter but to the students.
"Her first priority is always students. You can talk to her about anything whether it's about FFA or not. Knowing she's always there for us makes it a lot better," said student Garret Hagenow.
Ellen Doese said she loves what she does because of her students.
"I cannot say how privileged we are to have such good students here at Wapsie Valley. They understand work ethic. They understand determination," said Doese.
Wapsie Valley High School has 80 students in the ag education and FFA Programs.
Other eastern Iowa schools competing this week at nationals are Oelwein and Sumner-Fredericksburg. Oelwein is competing in events for Vet Medicine and Marketing Plan Career Development. Sumner-Fredericksburg is competing in Dairy Cattle Evaluation and Agronomy.