GLENVILLE, W.Va. — A group of students representing Gilmer County High School brought home high honors last weekend from a national FFA competition in Indianapolis
The team, made up of six students, five of whom graduated from the school last spring and are now attending college, finished second in the national leadership competition for parliamentary procedure. Participants are judged on their ability to exercise the skills of running a business meeting following the parameters of Roberts Rules of Order.
Coach Nick Cox said the competition involves answering questions, but also creating a demonstration which applies the rules as assigned by the judges. It’s a stressful exercise.
“They walk into this blind. They each get an index card that says what motion they have to make. They get a main motion they have to work and they get one minute to figure out how they’re going to do everything. This is by themselves and they are not allowed to consult team members,” he explained on MetroNews Talkline.
According to the FFA website, the parliamentary competition requires a general knowledge exam of parliamentary law, a 10 minute demonstration of parliamentary procedure, oral questions, written minutes of the demonstration as well as a team problem solving activity. Each team competed on local and state levels to earn the privilege of representing their state at the National FFA Convention & Expo.
The Gilmer team made quite an impression. Cox said each of the six individuals offered a special set of skills which cumulatively worked to their favor. They finished second out of the final four teams in the nation.
Team members included Mya Hough, McKinzie White, James Mohr, Aniah Stewart, Kaitlyn Anderson, and Adam Stewart.
According to Cox the team’s preparation for the competition was relentless.
“We had five kids who had just graduated high school last summer. The state contest was in July and in order to get this done within everybody’s work schedules we had to meet three times a week at six o’clock in the morning. From August to now we only had one weekend where we didn’t practice,” he said.