Circleville High School is in its first year with an FFA Chapter.

Circleville-PRCTC FFA joins Ohio’s record-breaking numbers

By Morgan Anderson, OCJ FFA reporter

Circleville High School opened its classroom doors for agriculture education and FFA for the first time on Aug. 18, 2022. Despite the prominence of agriculture in the area, Circleville’s graduating class of 2023 will be the first group of students to be members of the Circleville-PRCTC FFA chapter. 

Out of the five public high schools in Pickaway County, Circleville High School was the only one without an agriculture education and FFA program. When the opportunity arose to bring an agriculture education program and FFA chapter to Circleville High School, agricultural educator and FFA adviser Megan Moorman took it. 

“All students are consumers and need to understand where their food comes from,” Moorman said. “Agriculture is the No. 1 industry and employer in Pickaway County, the state of Ohio and in the United States, so chances are, students are going to get a job related to agriculture or have some connection to it, whether they realize it or not.”

A 2015 agriscience education graduate from The Ohio State University, Moorman brings eight years of teaching experience to the classroom. Coincidently, all of them have been in Pickaway County. Moorman launched her career as an agricultural educator and FFA adviser at Westfall High School. However, after seven years of teaching at Westfall High School, Moorman decided it was time for something new.

“Circleville is kind of the diamond in the rough,” Moorman said. “I loved my time at Westfall, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. But it’s not very often that a teacher gets the chance to create a program from the ground up.”

Moorman was hired as Circleville High School’s “in-house” satellite instructor by the Pickaway-Ross Career & Technical Center, or PRCTC, in February 2022. Circleville High School is one of the 10 partnered school districts in Pickaway and Ross counties that can receive staffing, equipment and funding for in-house career technical education instruction. This is opposed to students commuting to PRCTC’s main campus in Chillicothe for hands-on instruction in their career-related fields. PRCTC employs over 40 satellite instructors that are housed across the 10 partnered school districts. 

Johnathan Davis, the current superintendent of PRCTC and former superintendent of Circleville City School District, said that during his time at Circleville, he had an idea: to implement an FFA program.

“We had a really successful small engines and woodshop program [at Circleville], and the teacher had informed us that he was going to retire in a year or two,” Davis said. “So, we started to have some conversations about if it would make sense to transition this into an FFA program for students.” 

After Davis left Circleville to become the superintendent at PRCTC in 2021, he and the current Circleville superintendent, Kimberly Halley, worked together to add a new career-technical education pathway at the high school. They sent out a survey to gauge students’ interest and Moorman said agriculture education was the reigning response. After the administration collected the surveys, the two superintendents toured Westfall High School’s program where Moorman was teaching at the time to see what an agriculture education program looked like. Little did Moorman know, Davis and Halley would offer her a job by the end of the tour. 

“They left that day asking me to come to Circleville and start [the program],” Moorman said. “So, that’s how I ended up here.”

After completing the necessary steps to officially “charter” the chapter last August, the Circleville-PRCTC FFA chapter was officially chartered in September 2022. In the first year of the program alone, Moorman said she had 115 of the 600 students who attend Circleville High School enrolled in her courses. As a current single-teacher program, she teaches five sections of an Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources course, as well as two sections of a Mechanical Principles course. Due to the high interest in her course offerings, Moorman said she plans to add more next school year. 

Moorman said she sees only growth ahead for her and her students. 

“I really think that seeing the excitement through my students’ eyes has made my hard days a lot better and it’s just going to continue to grow,” Moorman said. “I’m a firm believer that agriculture education and FFA has a place for all students.” 

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