It's a first for Thomson High School.
Emory McAvoy, a member of the THS Class of 2008, recently became an American FFA Degree recipient. Thomson High FFA teacher Rick Dubose said it is the highest award in the FFA.
"It's huge. I mean, it's a big accomplishment," Mr. Dubose said. "It takes four years of being involved in FFA in agriculture in high school, as well as working after he graduated, he continued to work on a farm and gained experience in agriculture to earn this award."
While in high school, Mr. McAvoy worked an apprenticeship project at McDuffie Animal Hospital, where he was an assistant to the veterinarian and others in the practice.
"I really enjoyed it and am glad I got the chance to do it," he said.
He liked it so much that he considered majoring in veterinary science in college, but later changed to a major in biology and wildlife conservation at Augusta State University.
The son of Brett and Tracy McAvoy, who now live in Washington, Mr. McAvoy traveled to Indianapolis in October to receive his American FFA award. He was one of 42 recipients from Georgia.
"It's really a prestigious award and he worked hard to get there," Mr. Dubose said. "Nobody from Thomson has ever done that before."
In addition to his FFA accomplishments, Mr. Dubose said the award is based on community service, school accomplishments, and the student's grade point average.
"He was an honor graduate, so that was easy for him," Mr. Dubose said.
Now that he's in college, Mr. McAvoy said he can see how his FFA experiences are helping him.
"It taught me time management and how to focus on my priorities," he said.
Mr. McAvoy said he wants to thank Mr. Dubose for helping him reach his FFA goals, and Dr. David Ruehle at the McDuffie Animal Hospital, vet tech David Reese and teacher Robin Dudley.