Imparting Wisdom

D.D. Hill, far right in wheelchaird, who taught ag at El Campo High School for 27 years, talks to a group of El Campo FFA Chapter officers about his time as a teacher and an FFA advisor with the district many years ago. Hill, who turned 95 Monday, Aug. 20, received the surprise visitors who traveled to visit him in the nursing home in Hondo where he lives. Students were Ryan Williamson, Taylor Watz, Madison Rose, Haley Burrow and Carly Oldag.

El Campo FFA quickly became intrigued with Mr. D.D. Hill after reading his birthday article previously in the El Campo Leader-News. The officers came together and thought it would be really awesome to visit such an iconic figure to the community and El Campo FFA. After getting in touch with Mr. Hill’s daughter, Lori Anne Williams, plans were made for the students to travel to Hondo on Sunday, Aug. 19, to spend time with Mr. Hill.

“It was very inspiring to meet someone that has left a legacy like Mr. Hill has,” said ECHS FFA member Madison Rose.

Carly Oldag, Ryan Williamson, Taylor Watz, Haley Burrow, Madison Rose and Ag Teacher Zac Zahradnik traveled to Hondo Nursing and Rehabilitation Sunday afternoon to wish Mr. Hill a happy 95th birthday. The officers took Mr. Hill a birthday card, a letter, cupcakes and a photo album as a look into the El Campo FFA Chapter.

“It was not the gifts that made this experience memorable yet it was the gesture and meaning behind the visit. This iconic man set a great foundation to our FFA chapter and for the students to visit first hand with someone who throughout his life demonstrated not only courage but selfless service to others was a great experience” said Zahradnik.

The letter from the chapter states, “Some people live their entire lifetime not knowing if they made a difference in the world, and you don’t have that problem. Throughout your nearly 30 years of service to our organization you have had an immeasurable impact on the lives of countless students, and your impact can still be seen in our chapter today. Since your time with El Campo FFA, we have continually grown and are still one of the top chapters in the state of Texas. Our success without a doubt is attributed to your time as an advisor and the work you put in to give us such a strong foundation.”

We hold a fond appreciation for the legacy and traditions of our chapter, and are honored to say that we would not be nearly as successful without Mr. Hill. It is because of passionate educators and advisors like Mr. Hill that we, as a chapter, continue to thrive and grow into the next generation that leads this country.

Ryan states, “I am so happy that El Campo FFA took advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity. It was so interesting to talk with him and listen to his stories from back when he taught in the same program I am currently a student in. It is evident that the legacy he left on our chapter is one of the reasons students like me are members of one of the best chapters in the state of Texas.”

Happy birthday Mr. D.D. Hill. It was an honor for our officers to have this opportunity and to visit with you on such a milestone in your life. El Campo FFA is forever grateful for the foundation you’ve laid.

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