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The knowledge test team places first and six students receive their state degrees

REDMOND – In terms of the competition portion of the Oregon FFA State Convention last month, St. Paul sent a pretty young group to central Oregon.

While the upperclassmen that attended focused on attending workshops and serving on committees to evaluate the projects of their peers, the underclassmen excelled in several contests, including a first-place finish by the knowledge test team.

"I thought they did a great job," Ag teacher and FFA advisor Kristi Duyck said. "We had a newer group. About half of them hadn't been before, so it was great to get them involved."

The knowledge test is reserved for first-year members and St. Paul's contingent -- sophomore John Cacka and freshmen Madelyn Nicklous, Allyson Nicklous and Mason Rose -- who followed up their win in the district competition with another strong performance to take first.

"They've been working really hard," Duyck said. "We have a district contest and they won that in December. They've been studying all up until now and are really excited about it. They were nervous and unsure about how they did, but then were stoked that they took first place."

Madelyn and Allyson Nicklous both participated in the Creed Speaking competition and advanced to the top eight, which meant both took the stage to present, with Madelyn placing fourth.

Duyck said she thought the experience will be a nice boost for the first-year members and their success will only motivate them to become more involved moving forward.

"They get to see what FFA is all about, especially getting to go on stage at state convention when you're a freshman (or sophomore), that's awesome," she said. "It kind of primes them, like 'What's our next thing to do?'"

Six students received their Oregon FFA State Degrees, which was the highlight of the convention for the upperclassmen who attended. Achieving the honor were senior Noe Peña and juniors Hailey Farrell, Megan Tuck, Turner Lear, Wyatt Bean and Zach Brentano. Duyck noted that earning their degree is a big accomplishment.

"It's a lot of hours, a lot of work, a lot of FFA activities, community service, all of that," she said. "Then they give a presentation on their portfolio to a group of community members and do an application."

Tuck also received a Gold Award for her advanced portfolio, with Farrell earning the same recognition for the chapter's scrapbook. Taysha Veeman earned a gold award for the chapter's technology scrapbook.

"This was my first time going to state because my family usually goes to California for spring break," Veeman said. "It was a great experience."

Next up for St. Paul will be Career Development Days in April, focused on horticulture and nursery, followed by agricultural mechanics, crops and dairy food events in May.

"Those are really skill based, so it's a great opportunity for kids to do those. We'll also get ready for our spring banquet and auction," Duyck said.

School briefs

NHS Grad Night kickoff next week at pizza shop

The Newberg High School Grad Night Committee will host is registration kickoff and fundraiser event from 4 to 9 p.m. April 16 at Round Table Pizza.

Registration will open for graduating seniors from NHS and Catalyst. People can also support the event by dining in at Round Table during that period.

For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit sites.google.com/site/nhsgradnight.

St. Paul Elementary Parent Teacher Club hosting

basketball exhibition

The St. Paul Elementary Parent Teacher Club will host the Harlem Wizards basketball team for an exhibition versus a team of local teachers, coaches and community members at 6 p.m. May 12 at the St. Paul High School gym.

Cost is $10 for students, $15 for general admission or $30 for "courtside plus" seats.

To purchase tickets, visit harlemwizards.thundertix.com/events/126983.

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