By Cindy Jo Ayers
Trenton FFA Chapter members and Alumni were saddened to learn that longtime FFA Advisor Ashley Thoron would be leaving Trenton High over Christmas break. Dr. Andrew Thoron, Ashley’s husband, has taken a position as the Education and Ag Communication Department Head at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Georgia.
Ms. Thoron said she plans to take a little time off from teaching to move and get settled into life in Tifton. Then she will begin applying for teaching positions for high schools in that area next year.
She also said she has a few former students who currently attend ABAC and she is happy to be moving near them. Ms. Thoron said when speaking of former students, “Once I have had a student in my class they are forever my kid.” She also said that she enjoyed watching her former students succeed in life after high school. During her seven years at Trenton she feels one of her proudest moments was when former students came back and helped current students who were seeking a state office or another high FFA goal.
When talking about her current students in Trenton she said, “Kids at Trenton are very, very good, always putting in 100%, I will miss them.”
Mrs. Thoron grew up in Miami and attended Coral Reef Senior High School which is a Magnet School. She went on to be elected as Florida FFA State Vice President for Area 6, serving in 2006-2007. She taught part time in High Springs while she finished her Masters at University of Florida. Then she was hired at Trenton High School as the Senior Ag Advisor seven years ago.
Since that time Mrs. Thoron has helped her students complete many FFA programs and bring many state and national awards back home to Trenton. Just a few of the national awards FFA students won during Mrs. Thoron’s tenure were National Agriscience Fair winners in 2013, 2018, 2019. In 2018 a National Prepared Public Speaking winner as well as four to place second in Agriscience or Employment Skills on the national level and a host of state level awards also.
During her years at Trenton High, Mrs. Thoron helped four of her students obtain a State FFA Office. In 2014-15 Austin Polk was elected State Vice President, 2015-16 Brooks Parrish was elected State President, 2018-2019 Justus Jones State Vice President and 2019-2020 Lauren Roberts was Elected State Vice President.
Former State FFA President Brooks Parrish had high praise for Mrs. Thoron and her dedication to her students saying, “Mrs. Thoron has been one of my biggest supporters since her first day at Trenton High School. She recognized my potential and pushed me to achieve my goals even when faced with adversity. I am forever grateful for all that she did for me during my time in the blue jacket and I certainly wouldn’t be on the path I am today without her.”
Another student who has excelled during her years at THS and beyond is Lauren Roberts who is currently serving as the Area II Vice President.
Roberts was the first female to obtain a state office in the Trenton chapter’s ninety year history. She was elected to a state office some 50 years after women were allowed to join FFA. Roberts said, “Mrs. Thoron was one of the few teachers that was not only an instructor but a mentor, role model, and friend all in one. She could have her to-do lists scattered across her keyboard and never once said she couldn’t make time for personal conversation whenever I needed her guidance. She is so genuinely interested and cares about helping all her students succeed. She made my load lighter by always being an open ear and extra help. I would not be the confident young woman I am today without her.”
Mrs. Thoron said that her accomplishments at Trenton would not have been possible without the help and support of her husband, family and expanded family. She went on to say that Trenton has such a family and community atmosphere, which produce students ready and willing to give their all as FFA members. Mrs. Thoron said “The FFA program has received a lot of support from the community as well as the ag industry and the school administration, I am very thankful for that.”
Mrs. Thoron herself has won several awards including being named Florida Association for Agricultural Educators Presidents Award Outstanding CTE Educator in 2017 and the FAAE Outstanding Young Member in 2016. She is currently serving as the President of Florida Association for Agricultural Educators.
No doubt about it, Mrs. Thoron will be missed by many as she leaves Trenton for Tifton. She surely left a positive mark on her students’ lives that will be remembered for a very long time.
Heather Rucker, the Trenton Middle School FFA Advisor, will be moving up take the Senior FFA Advisor position and a replacement for the Middle School FFA Advisor has not been named at this time.
FFA Advisor Ashley Thoron to leave THS
By Cindy Jo Ayers