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NHS Chief Advocate

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Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Nonnewaug High Schools senior circle in 2015 before renovations began and changed the look of the school.
Reminiscing on the Senior Circle
Jillian Brown '24, Reporter • December 4, 2023
Nonnewaug boys soccer starters stand in a huddle before their game. This 2023 team, although down 13 seniors from last season, proved to be more successful than people had thought possible.
Nonnewaug Boys Soccer Rallied for Surprisingly Successful Fall
Brian Mohl '24, Reporter • December 1, 2023
Connor Bedard donning the Chicago Blackhawks home jersey on the ice for the first time. The picture was taken the day before his first-ever home game Oct. 21 where the Blackhawks would lose to the Vegas Golden Nights by a score of 5-3. (Blackhawks/Instagram)
18-Year-Old Connor Bedard the NHL's New Golden Boy
Sean Classey '24, Reporter • December 1, 2023
The Woodbury FFA Holiday Plant sale includes a variety of holiday-themed items for sale, including yule logs, wreaths, poinsettias, and more.
Behind the Scenes of FFA Holiday Plant Sale Prep
Culinary instructor John Dominello, left, and culinary student Case Hackett help to deliver one of the 140 meals to community senior citizens Nov. 30.
Senior Citizen Meal Continues to Bring Campus and Communities Together
Brianna Johnson '25 and Grace Nelson '25December 1, 2023
Students in Culinary Arts enjoy tending to the indoor classroom vertical gardens. Opportunities like these can be extended to even more students should a potential eight-period day be introduced.
Electives Courses Weight Impact of Potential Schedule Change
Dayton Griffin '24, Reporter • December 1, 2023
NHS News: November 2023
NHS News: November 2023
NHS NewsDecember 1, 2023
As the talk of schedule change flows throughout the school, opinions vary. For some, the current schedule is time consuming as it is. Will 8 periods be too much for students to handle?
Could an Eight-Period Day Take the Role of Friend or Foe?
Lana Manganello '25, Reporter • December 1, 2023
The Nonnewaug girls basketball team poses after a win against Gilbert last season.
NHS Girls Basketball Sees Underclassmen as Assets
Arabella Rosa '25, Reporter • December 1, 2023
An image of the six nominees for “Game of the Year” at the 2023 Game Awards. Each year, six games are chosen for this nomination, with the first Game Awards premiering in 2013.
Celebrating an Industry: The 10th Annual Game Awards
Tyler Timko '24, Reporter • November 30, 2023

Supervised Agricultural Experiences a Staple of Woodbury FFA

Evan Butkievich looks through the stock of horseshoes in his boss work trailer. He is an avid horse farrier, following through with his SAE requirements.
Woodbury FFA
Evan Butkievich looks through the stock of horseshoes in his boss’ work trailer. He is an avid horse farrier, following through with his SAE requirements.

WOODBURY — The Future Farmers of America is no mystery to the student body of Nonnewaug High School, yet through the public vision, many practices and opportunities of the FFA are lost in a field of confusion.

Nonnewaug High School, originally created in conjunction with the FFA’s agricultural program, is proud of its very own star-studded chapter, the Woodbury FFA.  

The agriscience program itself has evolved to reach many important agricultural industries, including aquaculture, natural resources, ag production, ag engineering, veterinary science, equine science, horticulture, floriculture, greenhouse production, and landscaping.

The skills and experiences given through these core classes are essential to the dying agricultural industry of Connecticut, shaping young minds to grow a chance for a new generation in agriculture. 

Students of this new generation have to absorb years of experience just to compete in their field. The FFA eliminates this roadblock through the process of SAE.

The Supervised Agricultural Experience, or SAE, creates the backbone for experience out in the field. Students of the ag program are trained in school and take that experience to a paid or unpaid job in the agricultural field

Agricultural students have to make 200 hours of agricultural work or service each year as credit for this part of the program. Failure to achieve the merit of 200 hours by the beginning of next year’s starting mark results in termination from the agricultural program.

Jacob Gorlewski strips unwanted and invasive plants from the grounds of his SAE at Flanders Nature Center. (Contributed by Jacob Gorlewski)

Even as it seems like a high bar to reach, our agricultural students go far beyond, embracing their work as the core part of the curriculum to which it is.

Mason Pieger, a senior, works at Ideal Fish in Waterbury and is trusted to take part in the upkeep of their aquatics farming. As a part of his job, Pieger works with feeding Branzino, monitoring their water quality, cleaning their filtration systems, as well as running farmers markets for Ideal Fish.

According to Pieger, by following through with his SAE, he was able to grow his strengths and limit his weaknesses.

“My SAE has helped me grow significantly,” said Pieger. “It has really helped my overall knowledge of water quality metrics, fish health and care, and social ability.”

Pieger is just one prime example of a trusted agricultural student working his SAE.

Jacob Gorlewski, another senior, currently works at Flanders Nature Center teaching groups of children and young adults the importance of preserving nature. Gorlewski enjoys working with animals at Flanders, as well as providing some children with their first experience alongside livestock

Although he is not working at a farm, Gorlewski ties his SAE into the agricultural field through natural resources and agricultural Education.  

“My SAE has taught me not only about preserving nature, yet life-long lessons on public speaking and education,” said Gorlewski. “I will hold these skills hoping they will assist me in future jobs.”

SAE makes many students reach out of their shell, but the FFA community appreciates the program with the understanding that it prepares them for the future.

“SAE is preparing me for my future,” said Pieger. “It’s much better learning to work now than five years in the future.”

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About the Contributor
Devon Zapatka '24, Senior Editor
Devon Zapatka is a senior editor at the Nonnewaug Chief Advocate who reports on sports and ag/FFA news. Devon is from Oakville. His accolades include being the 2023 state champion for the Connecticut FFA Mechanics competition, a member of the Woodbury FFA Timber Team, a previous member of livestock showing teams and member of several FFA committees, an avid soccer athlete for both Nonnewaug along with a club, and a student studying in the field of aquaculture through the FFA. Devon hopes to attend college and blend engineering with hydroponic and aquaponic farming while still being able to compete in soccer.
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