A Future Farmer’s of America chapter could be coming to North Platte High School if plans work out.
The FFA program could be taught by a teacher in another school via video screens and cameras, officials said Tuesday at a school board meeting.
Interim Superintendent Tami Eshleman presented the idea to the board, but the idea originated with high school sophomore Blake Tucker. Tucker requested the program during the first semester when Eshleman visited his classroom and asked the students what she could do to help them.
Tucker also spoke to the school board. He said 25 students signed up in a one-day straw poll, expressing interest in the program.
FFA has long history. It was founded in 1928 to educate, motivate and help students pursue their interest in agriculture.
FFA is currently offered jointly in Sutherland, Maywood and Paxton high schools. The teacher is in Curtis and personally visits each school one day a week. On the other two days, the teacher uses a “distance learning” video camera to teach students, who watch on video screens.
School board president Jim Paloucek, who was an FFA student in high school, was supportive of the idea.
“It’s been something we’ve talked about,” Paloucek said. “North Platte had an FFA program, but it was discontinued 25 years ago because there wasn’t enough interest to justify a full-time instructor, but technology now allows us to share personnel.”
Eshleman also read a statement of support for an FFA program from the North Platte Chamber and Development Corporation.
Eshleman will work with Scott Jones of the Educational Service Unit #16, looking for the best way to establish the program, mindful of costs, and report back to the board.