Senior Nadya Sanchez Rodriguez immediately noticed how different the atmosphere was when she transferred to Oasis Academy for her freshman year.
“I was very nervous when I transferred,” Rodriguez said. “All the students got along; the teachers had one-on-one time with the students. I felt important, cared for, and most importantly supported. I never had to worry about struggling because I always knew that there was a staff member who would guide me to success. I learned so many things here at Oasis that would have never been achieved anywhere else. I am very thankful for this experience, and would not change it for anything else.”
Her favorite class during the last four years was Ancient World History.
“Ancient World History was my favorite class because it was so interesting. Mr. Eric Grimes was such a great teacher; he always made sure class was exciting,” she said.
Rodriguez has been part of several activities during her time at Oasis. She has participated in Student Council and played volleyball and softball.
“One of my favorite memories from Oasis was winning the state championship for softball in 2021,” she said.
After graduating in May, she will continue her education at Truckee Meadows Community College and then eventually transfer to a university to study psychology.
“If I could thank the whole staff I would,” she said. “Specifically, Mrs. Julie Stockard and Mrs. Lisa Swan really made an impact. Mrs. Stockard was always the first person I would run to for exciting news. The two things I admire the most about her is how she influenced me to push myself to my full potential and she always took the time to really get to know her students. Mrs. Swan, where do I start, she was always so kind, and supported me in ways I couldn’t even put into words. Mrs. Swan gave me the best high school experience; and was always making sure I was on the right path for success.”
Rodriguez had sage advice.
“My advice for future students is to remember that you receive what you give,” Rodriguez added.
FFA banquet honors students, community
On May 6, the Oasis FFA Chapter Officer team hosted its end-of-the-year banquet. Chapter members, their families, advisers, and community friends coming together to celebrate the accomplishments of the local Oasis FFA chapter. The banquet was held at the Dry Gulch, which was transformed into a beautifully decorated event space by the chapter's decorating committee.
“My sister is head of the decorating committee, so right after the softball game on Saturday, we were both ready to get the area decorated to celebrate FFA,” said sophomore FFA member Lorena Rios.
After a potluck dinner with meat catered by Suzie’s barbecue, the awards ceremony began with guest speaker Gabriella Minolleti, Nevada FFA State vice president. Minolleti is originally from the Diamond Mountain FFA Chapter in Eureka.
“The Oasis chapter has grown from having only five members, with a total of 13 people at our first banquet, to 60 plus members and a room full of parents in front of me,” said Jackie Bogdanowicz, chapter adviser.
The chapter recognized all of this year’s CDE and LDE competitive teams, including Horse Evaluation, Agricultural Sales, Poultry, Conduct of Chapter Meeting, Floriculture, Creed Speakers, Dairy and Milk Quality and Agriscience Fair. The room quickly filled with excitement and applause as each team stood for recognition.
As the ceremony continued, the chapter officer team acknowledged supporters of the Oasis FFA Chapter from advisers to coaches to parents and volunteers all of which received an appreciation for truly making the chapter a community.
There were several degrees awarded that night, beginning with the honorary FFA degrees. The honorary FFA membership recognizes those who are helping to advance agricultural education and the FFA and who have rendered outstanding service. This year’s recipients were Karen Bogdanowicz, Leonard Bogdanowicz, Amber Morrow, Charlie Morrow, John Henry and Angela Viera.
The Greenhand Degree was awarded to 14 students: Isabella Grimes, Alyssa Ayers, Talon Johnson, Trevor Barrenchea, Jay Fredrick, Matthew Bird, Hunter Adams, Dahlila Creer, Caden White, Lainey Diaz, Ryder Mcnabb, Rusten McKnight, Grace Laca and Benton Snow.
The Discovery Degree was awarded to Saul Hernandez.
The basic beliefs of FFA members are outlined in the FFA Creed, which was presented that night by Isabella Grimes.
The final degrees awarded were the Chapter Degrees, and recipients were Joshua Gusewelle, Hailey Arrends and Hunter Mcnabb.
In addition to the awards and degrees, the 2024 Oasis FFA Chapter Officer team was announced: Chapter Parliamentarian Joshua Gusewelle, Chapter Historian Talon Johnson, Chapter Sentinel Ryder McNabb, Chapter Reporter Matthew Bird, Chapter Treasurer Grace Laca, Chapter Secretary Eneyde Rios, Chapter Vice President Hunter McNabb and Chapter President Ruby Hiskett.
As the banquet ended, there was a sense of satisfaction in the air. The event brought people together to showcase the hard work and dedication of FFA members, as well as reminding everyone of the importance of agriculture in our society.
“I declare the last meeting of the Oasis 2022-2023 Oasis FFA Chapter adjourned,” said outgoing President Stacie Bogdanowicz.
— Eneyde Rios