Wyoming 4-H educators recognized nationally for excellence

Portrait of woman
Sara Fleenor

Five University of Wyoming Extension 4-H educators received national recognition during the National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals conference in October.

Crook County 4-H educator Sara Fleenor received the Excellence in Communication and Expressive Arts Award. This honor is sponsored by the National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals Communication and Expressive Arts (CEA) Working Group and recognizes professionals who have created CEA opportunities for youths, volunteers and professionals.

Fleenor first won the state award before winning regionally and was one of four regional winners competing for the national award.

Fleenor created 4-H Fridays to fill a void for kids when the local school district went to four-day school weeks.

Portrait of woman
Kimberly Fry

“The projects were chosen to give kids skills in areas that were traditional to 4-H but have gotten lost or displaced by new trends,” said Fleenor. “It is wonderful to be recognized nationally as doing something important in the 4-H world and making a difference for kids.”


Portrait of woman
Stacy Buchholz

Kellie Chichester, Niobrara County 4-H educator, received the Achievement in Service Award (ASA). This award recognizes members actively engaged in extension youth programs and who have served more than three years but less than seven in extension youth programs.

“I am honored to have been recognized by my peers for the Achievement in Service Award,” said Chichester.

Platte County 4-H educator Stacy Buchholz received the Distinguished Service Award (DSA). This award recognizes outstanding association members with seven or more years in extension youth programs.

Portrait of woman
Mary Louise Wood

“I am humbled by the confidence my colleagues and clients have in my work and passion for promoting 4-H/youth development programs,” said Buchholz. “Most days, I feel as if I am still learning and growing, challenging myself to find new ways to reach youths with opportunities. I feel blessed to know that many other colleagues and volunteers work right alongside me to ensure 4-H is a program that continues to grow and reach youths in Wyoming.”

ASA and DSA awardees are those who demonstrate a professional attitude, professional improvement, professional accomplishments, personal community involvement and special honors either professionally or within the community.

Portrait of woman
Kelly Chichester

In other awards, Mary Louise Wood, Albany County 4-H educator, won the Western Region Award for published photo. Kimberly Fry, Campbell County 4-H educator, won the Western Region Award for personal column.

“We are so proud of our 4-H professionals for being recognized on a national stage by their colleagues from around the country,” said Johnathan Despain, state 4-H program coordinator.

“Earning these awards and recognitions demonstrates the quality aspects of our program and are testaments as to the resolve and desires our 4-H educators have in providing the best possible program we can to the youths of Wyoming.”

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