Barnesville FFA program something for community to be proud ofCathryn StanleyEditorA front page story in this issue details the community support of an upcoming event being planned and implemented by the Barnesville High School Future Farmers of America Chapter. Three separate articles on page B-2 also highlight the many impressive accomplishments of this group of young people led by Mrs. Stephanie Plumly.To quote one of those articles: " The Barnesville FFA Chapter was recently rated a Superior Chapter and ranked in the top 18% of Ohio FFA Chapters. The chapter will receive its recognition through the National Chapter Award program which recognizes FFA chapters that successfully complete an annual Program of Activities (POA). An annual POA includes a series of activities that are designed to encourage its members to grow as individuals, to work as part of a team, and to serve others. In order to qualify for the state award the chapter had to complete at least 15 activities: one for each of the five quality standards in each of the three divisions. The three divisions of the national chapter award program include: student development, chapter development and community development.There are over 300 FFA chapters in the state of Ohio. Barnesville FFA is in district 8 of the Ohio FFA Association. District 8 includes schools from Guernsey, Monroe, Belmont, Harrison, Tuscarawas, Carrollton, Jefferson, Holmes, and Muskingum counties. Barnesville FFA ranked 3rd in the district behind Ridgewood and John Glenn FFA chapters. The chapter is advised by Mrs. Stephanie Plumly."A few months ago, when a teacher at the high school expressed his opinion that not enough teachers utilized our paper to highlight the accomplishments of their students, I immediately thought of Mrs. Plumly and her program as an example of a teacher who is proud of her student's hard work and eager to let the community know about it. The planning of the May 21 'Hoot 'N Holler' community fun day is an example of how the Barnesville FFA Chapter wants to include the community in their program and give back to it for the support they have received.Unfortunately, there are some in the community who would rather criticize than support. A letter to the editor in the April 13 Barnesville Enterprise, written by Kevin Jones, criticized the program and Mrs. Plumly. Despite all the positive news printed in this paper prior to and following that letter, many people are still focusing on the opinion of that one person.Mrs. Plumly was given the opportunity to respond to the letter prior to its publication, but instead chose to print an article and picture about her students' hard work. It speaks to her character that she chose to handle the criticism that way. It also speaks to her character that three letters in support of her and her program followed the one letter by "Kevin Jones."If the April 13 letter was not written by Kevin Jones, as many people suspect, then it speaks to the letter writer's character that he lied to me about being the author of the letter and that he chose to air his grievances in that forum, rather than address Mrs. Plumly directly or the high school administration or even the school board.I hear many people say that today's youth are not good people. I do not believe that. Our community, especially its young people, are well known for their community spirit, volunteerism and kindness. Unfortunately, often it is the bad people and their actions that get more "press" than the good.If this newspaper, by printing that letter to the editor, gave the impression that it does not support and promote the positive aspects of this community whenever possible, then I personally apologize.