Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New FFA chapter helps prepare Weeki Wachee High students for the future

WEEKI WACHEE — As Weeki Wachee High School grows, it continues to add extracurricular organizations to serve its students. One of those is an FFA chapter.

Under adviser and environmental water technology teacher Kara Pirolo, the fledgling group has a membership of more than 20. FFA is the professional organization that complements her three-year environmental water technology courses, Pirolo explained.

The courses focus on water resources and sustainability. Students completing the advanced-level course earn water tech certification.

FFA promotes leadership, opportunities for personal and professional growth, career options and scholarships.

Leaders of the Weeki Wachee High group recently gathered to talk about why they joined and what it means to them.

"Our National FFA Organization is trying to promote leadership within our group," said senior Karianna Mandaglio, 17, the group's reporter.

"And agricultural education," added junior and FFA secretary Julia Mariana, 17.

"For the future," finished sophomore and FFA historian Siobhan Grube, 16.

"I'm here because I thought that farming would be an interesting subject," said freshman and group parliamentarian Kenneth Stage, 15.

Stage hopes next year to raise rabbits to show at the Hernando County Fair. Thinking about his future, he said law enforcement is a possibility, but he might want to own an agribusiness "because I know that the future depends on sustainable agriculture."

Said Mariana: "I'm in FFA because I love agricultural studies, and I thought it would be a great experience for me because I plan to pursue my career in environmental policy."

Senior and FFA president Travis Huber, 17, said he joined the organization "because I was in last year's environmental club with our copacetic teacher, Mrs. Pirolo."

Huber plans to attend Flagler College to become an industrial organizational psychologist "to make businesses better organized and boost morale among employees," he said. He added that FFA is teaching him integrity and professionalism.

Mandaglio said she has a different kind of reason for joining FFA.

"I believe that being part of something that's bigger than you are can, in time, push you to be a better you," she said. "FFA has helped me in so many ways."

She gave the example of addressing freshmen at their orientation as a chance to practice public speaking skills. She hopes to attend the University of Central Florida to study writing.

Grube hopes to have her own business in cosmetology, but sees the value in supporting a cleaner environment through sustainable agriculture.

"I also want to be a gardener," she said.

The Weeki Wachee FFA is involved in the community. Adopt-a-Road is one of its projects. Some of the members also competed in the recent Nature Coast Envirothon, and they hope to have members showing at the county fair next year.

The Weeki Wachee FFA chapter's vice president is senior Emily Joswick, 18. The treasurer is freshman Tyler Austin, 15.

New FFA chapter helps prepare Weeki Wachee High students for the future 03/27/14 [Last modified: Friday, March 28, 2014 1:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Girl says her mom asked for forgiveness before stabbing her


    ATLANTA — Everyone was asleep when Isabel Martinez began stabbing her children and then fatally stabbed her husband as he tried seek help, her daughter told a child welfare caseworker.

    In a  July 7 file photo, Isabel Martinez gestures towards news cameras during her first court appearance, in Lawrenceville , Ga. Martinez is charged with killing four of her children and their father. [AP Photo/John Bazemore, File]
  2. McCain says 'I'll be back soon' as he battles brain cancer


    WASHINGTON — Battling brain cancer, Sen. John McCain on Thursday promised to return to work, making a good-natured dig at his Republican and Democratic colleagues who were jolted by news of the six-term lawmaker's diagnosis.

    Sen. John McCain has been diagnosed with a brain tumor after a blood clot was removed. [Associated Press]
  3. Fire on neighbor's porch leads to charges against Holiday man


    HOLIDAY — A Holiday man was arrested Wednesday after authorities say he torched the front porch of his neighbor, who he insisted was holding his daughter hostage.

    Dan Fry, 63, of Holiday was arrested Wednesday on a charge of first-degree arson. [Photo courtesy of Pasco Sheriff's Office]
  4. Port Richey man solicited sex from 13-year-old, Pasco authorities say


    PORT RICHEY — A Port Richey man was arrested Wednesday after Pasco County authorities say he solicited sex from a 13-year-old boy on the gay male dating app Grindr.

    Shawn Daly, 43, of Port Richey was charged with solicitation for sexual conduct with a child over a computer. [Photo courtesy of Pasco Sheriff's Office]