Nine student FFA representatives from Pioneer Valley High School will be moving on to the regional speaking finals later this month in hopes of reaching the state competition.
Those moving to the regional competition include freshmen Julissa Ruiz, Elina Estacio, Gracie Velazquez and Camila Uribe, sophomore Jasmin Olivera, and seniors Marc Cabeliza, Jimena Diaz, Cali Perez and Elizabeth Beebe, according to Santa Maria Joint Union High School District spokesman Kenny Klein.
At the sectional competition earlier this month, Cabeliza was named sectional champion for the prepared public speaking category, making it to the regional competition along with Diaz, who earned third place.
In the extemporaneous public speaking contest, in which students had 20 minutes to prepare a brief speech on a randomly drawn topic, Perez was named sectional champion and Beebe was third runner-up, according to Klein.
In the creed category, Ruiz earned second place and Estacio earned fourth place, with Velasquez and Uribe also qualifying for regionals.
Olivera earned fourth place in the impromptu speaking category, making her one of just four students able to move on to the regional competition for the category.
Pioneer Valley FFA adviser Hector Guerra praised his students for their preparation and performance in the midst of a difficult year due to COVID-19.
“This year was one of the most challenging years to get our students prepared in a virtual setting, but as always, our students worked hard, practiced and demonstrated that they are the best in the galaxy. We coaches are extremely proud of them as we continue working with those that made it on to regionals."