A role model. Respectful. Full of integrity. Those are among the ways Vince Pellegri's teachers at Galt High School describe him. He bested 67 candidates from chapters across the state to be named California State FFA president.
"You'd be hard pressed to find a better young man than Vince. He has so much integrity and treats other people with the utmost respect," said agriculture teacher Dane White.
In order to become a state FFA officer, Pellegri had to submit an application and then participate in four days of interviews, tests, essay writing and answering questions on a stage in front of 4,000 people at the event in Fresno. In the end, it was his peers that elected him to the top state position.
In his first presidential role leading the state's 68,000 FFA members, he and adviser Cheryl Reece are headed this weekend to San Luis Obispo for state judging finals.
Pellegri, last year's Central Region vice president, has participated in various judging teams including parliamentary procedure and prepared public speaking. The high school senior also helps with his family's cattle business in Herald and has served on the school's student body council.
He has a twin sister, Carol, and plans to attend California State University, Chico to major in agriculture science and education, with plans to someday become an agriculture teacher.
Outside of school, he enjoys snowboarding, skateboarding, listening to music, reading and hanging out with his friends.
White said Pellegri is also widely respected for his morals, quality decisions and remarkable skills. He was recently voted prom king by his senior class. "Vince is just loved for the great young man he is," White added.
"We are very proud of Vince and of his many accomplishments," Reece said, using words including kind, talented and selfless to describe the student. "He truly represents the qualities and character that we wish to instill in our students involved in the Galt High School agriculture program. His win was a win for the whole Galt community."
The state officers' election was the culmination of the 82nd California State FFA Leadership Conference coordinated by California State University, Fresno, and held April 17-20 at Selland Arena in downtown Fresno. More than 5,000 high school students, advisers and guests attended the largest annual conference Fresno hosts.
Attendees were motivated by the state FFA officers and guest speakers. From public speaking to innovative production practices, students showcased their expertise in various competitions, and many contest winners will advance to compete at the national FFA convention held in October in Indianapolis.
Fellow Galt student Ryan Denier received a state star award at the state convention earlier this month.
"Vince's success speaks volumes about what happens in the agriculture programs in Galt. When a student has goals and is willing to put in the effort to achieve them, the program and its teachers are there to support, challenge and encourage to help those goals come to life," White said.
California State FFA President position at a glance— Helps plan next year's state convention
— Travels around California and the nation interacting with FFA members, presenting speeches and workshops and advocating for the agriculture industry.
— Is one of five officers from across California.
Source: California Association FFA
Other state officers that have served the state FFA organization from Galt1969-70: Richard Denier, reporter
1974-75: Dennis Johnson, treasurer
1985-86: Serena Benadum, vice president
1988-89: Roland Fumasi, president
1993-94: Tiffany Rausser, reporter
1996-97: Nick Garcia, treasurer
2001-02: Jeff Alves, treasurer
2004-05: Colleen Bartlett, secretary, and Katie Robertson, treasurer
Source: Cheryl Reece, Galt High FFA adviser