Knowing the tenacity and drive of Orrin Jones since he was little, first raising animals with 4-H, it did not come as a surprise to hear that he was chosen to serve the next year as the California State FFA Sentinel.

Jones is the first State Officer ever elected from Live Oak High School. The last one from this area was Ryan Schohr of Gridley High in 1995-1996 as State Treasurer.

Submitting his application in January, Jones was one of 74 up for the position when he took a test in March and the count went down to 35. Those 35 interviewed Sunday, April 29 at the 90th Annual FFA Conference in Anaheim and the final 12 were introduced Monday night, April 30 on the stage for all 8,000 attending to witness their answers. Following a Meet and Greet, the 600 delegates had an hour to submit their choices for this year's slate of officers.

"I have looked forward to this the last three years preparing for the interview process, which is seven rounds. There were so many candidates who worked very hard. I feel really blessed to have this opportunity," he stated.

Jones was awarded the State Extemporaneous Speech Winner last month also. While at Live Oak High he has maintained a 3.50 GPA and has participated in a dozen service organization speech contests and won several in the past couple of years.

Starting 4-H when he was just seven-years-old, Jones remains a member for a couple more months he said.

His favorite part of being a member of FFA has been seeing the passion of the kids throughout their projects especially at the conferences.

"I like seeing them get excited about the passion for agriculture," he stated.

Jones is appreciative of his FFA Advisors Stephanie Allen, Dan Johnson and Jim Rogers who were all there to witness his installation into office in Anaheim.

Jones will graduate from Live Oak High June 7, 2018, and two days later will move to the California FFA Center in Galt. He will help at an orientation meeting in San Luis Obispo and have a weeks training in Utah with West Coast state officers.

Once this memorable year serving as Sentinel is up, Jones plans to either go to the California Maritime Academy or Oklahoma State.

As Sentinel, Jones will be the door guard, the first face the students will see when entering which is certainly appropriate as he always has a warm, friendly smile for everyone he encounters.

"I value the ability to connect with the other students. Leadership is important and I ran because I wanted to be a leader and give back a year to the organization that gave me four years," he stated.