In less than a week, Holton Westbrook will walk across the stage at Memorial Stadium and leave his high school career behind. While many of the Stephenville High School standout's peers will enjoy time away away from the hustle and bustle of their daily routine over the summer, Westbrook will remain busy representing Stephenville as a state officer with FFA. He plans to attend Texas Tech University in the fall.
1. What does being elected to serve as state FFA officer mean to you?
FFA Advisor Laurah Williams first explained the significance of Westbrook's officer status by saying there are 10 areas that make up Texas FFA and 85,000 members across the state. Stephenville lies in Area 4, which includes 85 schools and despite the competition, four officers have represented SHS as a state officer over the last five years.
"It feels good, it's really neat," Westbrook added. "I was in the running against members from nine other areas who were just as qualified. So yeah, I'm excited."
Westbrook is aware his election means he will be busy.
"There will be a lot of responsibilities, but I think I will enjoy the work," he said. "It will allow me to meet and work closely some great people."
2. What were some of the high points of your high school career?
"From an officer standpoint, I wasn't real confident speech wise when I was running for area officer. When I went into the runoff, I had to present a one-minute speech reminding everyone why I deserved their vote, and I was suddenly more confident than I had ever been. I really enjoyed it. When I won the election, I realized I had gotten over that issue. Another high point came when I had to make a major choice that would affect my entire college career. I struggled with the decision to pursue ag or athletics - I had to ask myself if I wanted to play football or go to the National FFA Convention. I decided on FFA, and it's a decision I am proud of and don't regret."
2. Looking back at your high school career, what was the hardest thing for you to accomplish?
"Learning how to say no," Westbrook said. "For example, preparing for a football game, UIL competition and FFA convention all at the same time. But it definitely taught me how to prioritize."
And prioritizing is more important the ever. Westbrook said his summer is "booked." He will have a week to rest in June and another in July but the rest will be consumed with FFA as will his freshman year at Tech. In his sophomore year he will be a part of the university's meats evaluation team.