The letter came as a complete surprise to Brandi Boyd, agricultural education instructor and FFA (Future Farmers of America) advisor at Clarke Community High School.
Clarke’s FFA Big Chief Chapter was selected for a 2013 Governor’s Volunteer Award (GVA).
“I had no idea that we were even being nominated for it,” Boyd said. “So, when I opened it up, it was a huge honor, huge surprise. It made my day.”
The GVA provides all Iowa nonprofit, charitable and government organizations with a noncompetitive, easy and low-cost way to honor local volunteers with a prestigious state-level recognition award.
Noncompetitive means the person completing the nomination form is notifying the state they have determined the individual or group listed is deserving of this honor.
There is also a nomination fee for each submission.
“It was a like a Christmas present when we got it (the letter) because it was a big surprise,” Boyd said. “I’m going through mail and, so then, I did a little happy dance and the kids were like, ‘what, what, what?’”
Awards come in several categories, including individual, group, disaster volunteer or length of service.
The FFA chapter won a group award for outstanding commitment and service.
Boyd told her students it was from the good work they do everyday and “obviously, somebody noticed it.”
Boyd and her students are invited to a special recognition ceremony with Gov. Terry Branstad to receive a certificate and take a picture.
The ceremony is scheduled 10 a.m. June 27, at the Southeast Polk High School auditorium. A reception will be held after the ceremony.
The FFA chapter was nominated for the GVA by Paul Trombino III, director of Iowa Department of Transportation.
The chapter has a two-mile stretch of road going east on Highway 34 where students pick up trash through Adopt-A-Highway program.
However, Boyd said she doesn’t know exactly why Trombino nominated the FFA chapter for the award.
“I guess I would be tickled pink to find out,” she said.
Boyd said the significance of the award is the chapter does hard work everyday. However, positive feedback isn’t always made known to them.
“You don’t always, on a daily basis, get a note that says, ‘hey, thanks for what you do,’” Boyd said. “And, I guess when I received this, it made the kids go ‘wow.’ There are people out there who are paying attention to groups of youths who are doing good things.”