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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar was honored Wednesday evening to accept an Honorary State FFA Degree during the 90th Illinois State FFA Convention in Springfield.

More than 5,000 FFA members, advisors, and guests attended the convention during its three-day run from June 12-14. Among them were students from Taylorville and Pana high schools.

Honorary State Degree recipients are recognized for their outstanding service to agricultural education and FFA programs. The degree is awarded by the Illinois Association FFA. Manar was one of 34 recipients this year.

“It’s an honor to be included among such a fine group of supporters for agriculture and ag education in Illinois,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat. “I am pleased that I can be a voice at the Capitol for K-12 education and rural and agricultural priorities.”

In addition to Manar, the other recipients of 2018 honorary degrees were (in alphabetical order): State Senator Neil Anderson; Don and Gina Birritier, parents of Illinois FFA state president; Congressman Mike Bost, 12th District; Mike Butler, Athens FFA advisor; Dave Clark, retired reporter for The Star Courier; Anna and Jeff Clausen, parents of Illinois FFA state treasurer; Congressman Rodney Davis, 13th District; Katie Eads-Cressey, Youth Education in Agriculture Committee; John C. Edgar, Illinois FFA Center assistant director; Doug Falk, Cuba FFA advisor; Kenny Hartman, ILCAE member; Elliot Hasselbring, Illinois FFA Alumni Council; and Dalton Heavner, state convention volunteer.

Also, Dr. Walt Hurley, UIUC Animal Science Department; Chris and Jody Janssen, parents of Illinois FFA state vice president; Randy Meyer, Nokomis FFA advisor; Ryan Orrick, IACCAI chairman; Karen and Tom Painter, parents of Illinois FFA state secretary; Raymond Poe, director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture; Pam and Terry Reeverts, parents of Illinois FFA state reporter; Larry Riden, friend of Illinois FFA; Marianne Shields, assistant to the dean of the SIU COAS; Kirk Stevens, friend of Illinois FFA; Doug Thurnau, St. Elmo FFA advisor; Darin Walter, friend of Illinois FFA; Jenny Webb, Illinois Farm Bureau Youth Education; Kaitlyn Weitekamp, ILCAE member; and Julie Wollerman, regional superintendent.

Pictured above (left to right): (seated) Julie Wollerman, Larry Riden, Kirk Stevens, Marianne Shields, Darin Walter, Jenny Webb, Kaitlyn Weitekamp; (standing) Doug Falk, Dave Clark, Neil Anderson, Kenny Hartman, Randy Meyer, Andy Manar, Dr. Walt Hurley.


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Pictured: State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), recipient of a 2018 Honorary State FFA Degree, is joined by Pana High School FFA students during the 90th Illinois State FFA Convention in Springfield on Wednesday, June 13, 2018. From left to right: Ivy Stewart, 16; Chase Temmen, 16, FFA chapter president; Amanda Hall, 16, FFA chapter secretary; Manar; Grace Sims, 17; and Alex Weitekamp, 16.


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Pictured: State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), recipient of a 2018 Honorary State FFA Degree, is joined by Taylorville High School FFA students during the 90th Illinois State FFA Convention in Springfield on Wednesday, June 13, 2018. From left to right: Duncan Beck, 18; Ryan Held, 18; Manar; Abel Gunn, 17; and Ellie Tippitt, 18. All four students are recent graduates of Taylorville High School.

Category: People of the 48th

05152018 Manar Williams NelsonSPRINGFIELD -— State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) welcomed two central Illinois high school students to the Capitol last week as his senators for the day.

Meggan Williams, a junior at Staunton High School, and Noah Nelson, a senior at Taylorville High School, joined Manar in Springfield on Tuesday, May 15.

Williams is the daughter of Jeff and Tammy Williams. She is involved in dance and volleyball. While at the Capitol, she toured the building, accompanied Manar to committee hearings and joined him on the Senate floor for a busy afternoon of debate and votes on key pieces of legislation.

Noah Nelson is the son of Ed and Teresa Nelson. His interest in politics, journalism and current events led him to accept an invitation to attend the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the fall, where he plans to study political science. Nelson also joined Manar on the Senate floor.

Category: People of the 48th

05162018 Henschen ManarSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar welcomed Wyatt Henschen, a senior at Pana High School, to the Capitol last week as his senator for the day.

Henschen, 18, of Oconee is the son of Roger Henschen II and Kim Crow. He was the senior class vice president and played baseball and football. He also is a Make-a-Wish volunteer, enjoys studying politics and U.S. history and is a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals.

While at the Capitol Wednesday, May 16, Henschen joined Manar for a series of meetings with constituents and colleagues.

Category: People of the 48th

SPRINGFIELD – Students and faculty from Pana and Taylorville met with State Senator Andy Manar recently to demonstrate innovative technology-driven projects they developed and to explain how technology is becoming a more important part of their education every day.

The students were at the Capitol for 2018 Tech Day, an annual showcase that offers an opportunity for students throughout Illinois to show state lawmakers how they use devices, the internet and digital curriculum to learn and innovate in school. Tech Day was Thursday, May 10.

“I was so impressed by these students and the projects they brought to the Capitol, as well as by their enthusiasm for technology and digital learning. I was reminded yet again that great things are happening in classrooms every day all around us,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat and a driving force behind the state’s adoption of a new school funding formula last year.

“As we work to ensure every school has adequate resources to provide a modern education, investing in computers, iPads and other technology will be a big part of that ongoing conversation,” he added.

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Pana Washington Elementary School

Manar met with Addasyn Casner and Luke Fitzpatrick, both second-graders at Pana Washington Elementary School, and discussed their project, “It’s Elementary.” Washington students have shared access to iPads, Chromebooks and a computer lab. They are encouraged to use technology for brainstorming, research and presentations.

Casner and Fitzpatrick were accompanied to the Capitol by their teacher, Kim Hahnenkamp, and the school’s technology integration specialist, Jessica Miller.

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Pana Junior High School

An analysis of river systems on Mars was the focus of the digital research project three Pana Junior High eighth-graders brought to the Capitol to show lawmakers.

The students included Lizzie Schafer, 14, of Owaneco; Grace Fitzpatrick, 14, of Pana; and Grace Harriston, 13, of Pana. They were accompanied by eighth-grade science teacher March Schmitz.

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Taylorville Junior High School

Fifth-graders Sophia Rogers and Hannah Hartwig at Taylorville Junior High demonstrated how they used Tinkercad to design and print three-dimensional pioneer-era wagons that actually move. The project was inspired by their study of the westward expansion and a visit to the New Salem State Historic Site.

Rogers and Hartwig were accompanied to the Capitol by fifth-grade teacher Tammy Reindl and school technology director Chris Kuntzman.

Category: People of the 48th