Penn Yan Academy Agriculture teacher John Kriese knows how to grow things, how to build things, and how to fix things. His ability to mentor, support, and guide young people, looking past weaknesses to help students find a direction for their future brought a large and appreciative crowd out for the 87th Penn Yan FFA Chapter Banquet at Penn Yan Academy June 8.
The banquet is an annual celebration of the achievements of the Penn Yan FFA chapter and its members. Kriese has been the advisor of the chapter since he was hired by the Penn Yan Central School District in 1990. Now, on the eve of his retirement, scores of people who were influenced by him came together to share laughs and tears as he free-wheeled his way through honoring student achievements and accepting their words of thanks.
As Kriese deflected attention showered on him to direct focus on the students’ achievements throughout the evening, it was reflected back on him through their comments.
“You have led Penn Yan Academy to become one of the premiere FFA chapters in New York State,” said Marcy (Quackenbush) Ross, one of his former students, adding, “You are the epitome of leader and role model.”