NEWTON, NJ – Supporters and teachers gathered to celebrate the Staff and Community Appreciation Luncheon for the Future Farmers of America chapter at Newton High School.

Newton High School Principal Jeff Waldron, who spoke at the event, said, “It has been the highlight of my career to be involved in this event. This program guides whatever path they choose, applying morals, guidelines, and principles, and in education what else could you ask for.”

The students set up the entire event including the food preparation. The FFA students used venison and cod donated from local fishermen and hunters. They made the venison into kielbasa and hot dogs to go with salads and sandwiches.

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The student officers awarded the teachers that had the biggest impact of their high school career with staff appreciation awards. The teachers who received the staff appreciation awards were:

  • Jim Hoffman,
  • Brian Bennington,
  • Yvonne LaForge,
  • Lisa Langshultz,
  • Kelly Gvoth,
  • Chris Wannemacher,
  • Matthew Petrozelli, and
  • Pat Treible.

An Honorary Chapter Degree Award given to Dave Hughen for his contribution to the FFA activities at school. Hughen is the head of maintenance for the district. He helped the students with most repairs or problems especially in the agriculture shop and is a vital part of the FFA chapter.

Members of the FFA State Chapter were in attendance along with members of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuge at the Wallkill River location.

Eric Nelson of the NJ State FFA and a Newton High graduate came to the luncheon. He said, “This program is top notch. I walked into Newton high a unmotivated and disinterested student and left a state officer who wanted to do things with his life.”

Chelsea Diantonio represented the Walkill River Refuge, who works with the FFA to sponsor events for children in the community like Hunters Education Day and other biologically based field trips to expand community programs.