Santa Fe High students take home state FFA honors

Published: Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 6:24 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 6:24 p.m.

Twenty-eight students in the Future Farmers of America chapter at Santa Fe High School were among the more than 3,000 students at the 86th annual Florida FFA State Convention and Expo, held from June 30-July 4 in Orlando.

The Parliamentary Procedure team of Nicole Edgar, Ryan Felton, Matthew Fischer, Nicole Klacko, Elizabeth Roberts and James Willis finished in the top 12 in the state.

Freshman Moss Caballero received a first place in Division One: Social Systems, Agriscience Fair and advances to the national competition to be held in October in Louisville, Kentucky. Caballero also participated in the Extemporaneous Public Speaking competition.

The Santa Fe FFA chapter received a National Chapter award, a prestigious award given to a select few chapters in the state of Florida.

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Leaving a 17-year legacy with Three Rivers Legal Services, Executive Director Allison Thompson retired earlier this year. During her leadership, Three Rivers expanded from serving 12 counties to 17 counties, opened a third office in Jacksonville, and increased the budget by 250 percent.

Thompson, who came to Three Rivers in December 1996 after serving as executive director at Legal Services of the Virgin Islands, is a nationally recognized leader in the legal services community. Thompson grew Three Rivers from only two funding sources to more than 30 funding sources, and increased services.

One of the first black female graduates of the University of Florida College of Law in 1973, Thompson has dedicated her legal career to serving the legal needs of the poor including serving as a Reginald Heber Smith attorney at LAW Inc. in Tampa, a staff attorney at Rhode Island Legal Services, and later a regional attorney for the Legal Services Corporation in Pennsylvania.

Thompson’s many involvements include the 4As — African American Accountability Alliance; BASE, or Black AIDS Services & Education Inc.; the PRESERVE, which is an organization housing homeless teens; the Cultural Arts Coalition; the Josiah T. Walls Minority Bar Association and many other community organizations. She was the 2008 Alachua County NAACP President’s Award recipient and in 2009 received the Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association’s Tomlinson Professionalism Award. She was involved in the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, Clara Gehan Association for Women Lawyers, Equal Justice Works/Pro Bono Legal Corps, and the National Association of Public Interest Law.

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Thomas W. Vickroy, Ph.D., a pharmacologist and longtime University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine faculty member, has been named executive associate dean of the college. He will replace John Harvey, who will retire in September after 40 years of service on the UF veterinary medical faculty, six as executive associate dean.

Vickroy’s primary responsibilities in his new role will include implementation of strategic initiatives, human resource management, leadership development, facilities and space, and institutional evaluation and reporting.

Since he joined the faculty in 1988, Vickroy has won numerous awards for teaching excellence, including recognition of his contributions in the forensic science program, the College of Veterinary Medicine Clinical Sciences Teacher of the Year in 2003-2004 and Class of 1996 Teacher of the Year.

Vickroy’s achievements in veterinary pharmacology include leadership roles such as regional director of the Food Animal Residue Avoidance Databank and regional animal drug coordinator for the Minor Use Animal Drug program, both funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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