WHERE ARE THEY NOW
November 7, 2011Rossville Middle High School
Rossville teacher receives honor
Purdue University to host reception
Posted: Monday, November 7, 2011 12:00 am
Rossville High School agriculture teacher Dale Griffin has stood behind hundreds of accomplished students and award winners during his on-going tenure as the school's FFA advisor. Friday during a reception at Purdue University, it will be Griffin's turn to stand in the spotlight.
Griffin will be one of six Purdue alums honored this year as part of the 2011 Distinguished Animal Science Alumni program.
Honorees are selected by a committee made up of Purdue Animal Science faculty and staff based on demonstrated leadership, community service and contributions to the field. Griffin was chosen because of his "tireless energy in planning, organizing and promoting educational activities to help young men and women grow and develop as future leaders," according to a letter from the department.
"Students love him and he makes an impact in a lot of students' lives," said Barry Delks, the Animal Science Coordinator for Career Services at Purdue.
As FFA advisor, Griffin has a hand in dozens of extracurricular projects each year, from pork chop suppers, food drives and landscaping projects to state, national and international ag- and environment-related competitions.
Just this past month, the Rossville FFA club served more than 1,000 people at their annual pork chop supper, sent a horticulture team to San Diego to give a competitive demonstration on landscaping, attended programming and competed in national competitions at the National FFA Organization convention in Indianapolis and received national recognition as one of the top FFA clubs in the state.
"He's an amazing guy," Delks said. "He goes from early in the morning to late at night and keeps going on that motor of his."
But, according to students, the key to Griffin's effectiveness as an advisor and mentor is allowing them to do the heavy lifting.
"He points you in the right direction and says, ‘Get it done,'" said Rossville FFA vice president Micah Koehler-Marsh, who said her experience as a four-year FFA member has improved her leadership skills and "really brought me out of my shell."
Delk, who keeps tabs on some of Griffin's former students at the college level, said students trust and admire Griffin, seeking his advice when choosing their career paths.
"I think the neatest thing he does is he pursues students and sees what they can do," Delk said. "Younger students may have doubts about themselves, but he can get them plugged in through FFA. He's taken a lot of teams to national competitions. It's neat to see the impact."
Ask the man himself about his impact, however, and he deflects the praise toward others.
"We really are well blessed," Griffin said about Rossville FFA. "Rossville is almost a utopia. I have around 100 students involved with community service and contests, but it's mostly just a lot of fun."