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Chatham Central Agricultural Complex named for Julian Smith

Posted Friday, June 17, 2011

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Bear Creek, NC - On Saturday, May 21, the agricultural complex at Chatham Central High School was named for H. Julian Smith, who taught there for forty-five years before retiring in the summer of 2010. The Chatham Central FFA chapter and its advisor, Chris Hart, spearheaded the event. Many former colleagues, former students, family members, and school district officials spoke during the program that followed a potluck dinner.

The request to name the complex in honor of Smith was made this spring by the school and approved by the Chatham County Board of Education. During his tenure at Chatham Central, the horticulture program and its FFA chapter became nationally known for state and national award-winning teams.

Floriculture, nursery/landscape, forestry and tool teams were frequent winners in FFA competitions. Smith was also a mentor to fellow agriculture teachers. Annual plant sales brought buyers from inside the county and across the state to the school campus each year.

“The stellar reputation Mr. Smith earned as an educator and with his students at Chatham Central locally, in the state, and nationally make it an honor for part of our campus to bear his name. The success of students has always been his highest priority. His legacy of unmatched work ethic, passion for horticulture, competitive spirit, and the ideals of FFA are alive in our school and community through his former students. The fact that he continues to support the program as a mentor is a testament to who he is as a teacher. We are all better for having the opportunity to work with Mr. Smith and are proud to honor his commitment to Chatham Central and agricultural education by naming our complex for him,” said Mitch Stensland, Principal.

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Chatham Central Agricultural Complex named for Julian Smith
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