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August 26, 2016

(L-R): Logan Williams and NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey

Newton County School Superintendent (NCSS) Samantha Fuhrey recently awarded her Coin of Distinction to Alcovy High School student, Logan Williams, for his honorable actions at the recent Georgia Young Farmer Beef Cattle Show. Logan is the first student to ever receive the Superintendent’s Coin of Distinction.

According to Alcovy High School FFA Advisor, Cecily Bullock, the Georgia Young Farmer Beef Cattle Show was open to any middle or high school student in FFA or 4-H. The show allowed students to exhibit their cows based on showmanship—how the student works the cow and presents it, and on class—the overall look of the cow.

“Logan placed second in his class and received a cash prize and a ribbon,” said Bullock. “When we got back to our area and he opened the envelope, he realized that he had accidentally been given a first place ribbon. He immediately asked me to take his ribbon back to the ring so that he could give it back and receive the correct one.”

She added, “He was very worried that by him receiving the blue ribbon, another student would not have gotten what they deserved. He also wanted to make sure that he had the correct prize. He knew he didn't place first and to him, keeping it would be dishonest.”

Word of Logan’s actions at the competition traveled fast and even made its way to the Georgia Department of Education. John Bridges, Program Manager for Agricultural Education, was so impressed he relayed the story to all agriculture education teachers in the state.

“It would have been easy for Logan to go home that day with the blue ribbon, but his character and attitude about the steer show project is worthy of more than just a first place ribbon,” said Bridges. “In my view, he is a champion. In this day and age, when there are too many examples of people choosing to win at all cost and do whatever it takes to get the blue ribbon – it is refreshing to witness the work and dedication of an agriculture teacher and student that exemplifies the morals and character we strive for in the FFA creed and code of conduct.”

Shortly after the competition, several people reached out to NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey to tell her what happened and relay how impressed they were by Logan’s character and honesty. She too, was impressed and made plans to surprise Logan at school to present him with her Coin of Distinction.

On Thursday, August 25, Ms. Bullock pulled Logan from his class and walked him to school principal, Sandra Owens’ office. He didn't know that Dr. Owens and Superintendent Fuhrey were waiting inside. 

When they arrived at the office, Bullock smiled and said, “He was so nervous walking down here because he couldn’t figure out what he had done to get called to the principal’s office!”

Superintendent Fuhrey told Logan about all of the calls and emails she had received praising his actions and then presented him with her Coin of Distinction.

“I only present these coins to those who go above and beyond and do really noble things,” said Fuhrey, as she presented the coin. “You could have taken the award and professed that it was your first place ribbon. But instead, you were honest and immediately returned it for the correct award. You represented your family, Alcovy High School, our school system, your teachers and the FFA program very well. It pays to do good things, and it pays to do the right thing. I’m very proud of you, and I hope this coin serves as a reminder that you have displayed great character which will take you far in your life.”

When asked why he returned the ribbon, Logan immediately responded, “My thoughts were, be true to me and everyone else and take it back to get the award I really deserved. I’ll work harder and maybe next time I’ll win the first place ribbon and know that I earned that award.”

And that wouldn’t surprise Ms. Bullock, because the fact that Logan won any award with that particular calf is indicative of his hard work and determination.

“The calf that Logan shows is ‘Porterdale Pete,’" she explained. “He escaped at the beginning of the year and the cow was actually on his own for 48 days. When we got him back, he was extremely skinny and very skittish. No one thought that this cow would ever be able to show but Logan has proved them all wrong. He had to work extra hard to turn this cow into a show cow and his results at the show are a testament to his hard work.”

Logan has been in the Alcovy FFA program for two years and currently serves as the FFA sentinel.

“He is just an exceptional young man and a vital part of our FFA Chapter and our school,” said Bullock. “He puts the needs of others first and truly has a servant heart. Logan is always willing to help out when needed and he works hard to make sure that everyone he comes in contact with is happy and has what they need. He is a true leader to our chapter and our school.”

“Logan epitomizes what being an Alcovy Tiger is,” said Dr. Owens. “Tigers are respectful, organized, accountable, and responsible.  He certainly showed those traits by being honest and I am so very proud of him.”