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4H Technician Terry Misch’s star lights the way

King George — Two new stars have been shining in the starburst galaxy over King George and Westmoreland since June.
The new additions are part of the 4H All Stars system that has lit up the community since June of 2010 when Heritage Club 4H leader Dick Lahey of Westmoreland and multiple 4H club participant Aldyn Abell of King George were “tapped” as 4H All Stars.
And this year two more King George residents were “tapped” as All Stars and pulled into this new starburst galaxy.
Fancy’s Friends 4H Dog Club founder and leader Sue Coleman and King George 4H Technician Terry Misch became All Stars in a ceremony at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg in June.
Coleman’s star lit up part one of this series and Misch’s star will shine on this second and final part.


When one looks to the night sky, they will find the North Star shining brightly.
And since nearly the beginning of man’s existence, that stellar light in our universe has guided many a traveler safely and accurately to their destination.
Terry Misch’s job title is King George 4H Technician. But her job duties are much like those of the North Star.
Regardless of the steps involved in her daily tasks, the ultimate goal is to light the way for all who journey through the 4H program. She accomplishes this by providing guidance to leaders, volunteers, and 4H club members.
She has been employed with Virginia Cooperative Extension part time since 2003. The first five of those seven years were spent working with the 4H Agent.
For the past two years, Misch has had sole responsibility for the King George 4H program.
Misch ensures that existing clubs are meeting their goals and completing the administrative tasks required by the 4H program.
To ensure the clubs’ path to success, she paves the way with training sessions for youth and adults.
Each year Misch conducts a class for newly elected officers in all of the King George clubs.
She teaches basic organizational requirements for club officers to include facets such as accurate record keeping, and preparation and maintenance of schedules for club activities and events.
But Misch is also responsible for ensuing the young officers know how to properly prepare for meetings. The students learn standard business practices such as agenda development.
They also get an overview of basic civics while reviewing the steps in the proper conduct of a meeting. This includes adhering to Robert’s Rules of Order when making and seconding motions and bringing issues to a vote.
New adult leaders and their assistants also benefit from Misch’s classes each year. Adults need to understand what the club officers are charged to accomplish and the manner in which they are to carry out those tasks.
As such, leaders learn methods to coach, guide, and encourage the youth. This includes ensuring club officers employ the tools from their training to accomplish their duties and successfully meet their goals.
Misch also organizes a competition to allow 4H Club members to practice public speaking. She selects a panel of judges from within the community to evaluate the speakers based on specific criteria established for their age group.
Held in the spring, it also serves as a practice session for teen 4H’ers that will be making presentations at the annual Congress each June.
In addition to administrative oversight of 10 clubs, under Misch’s leadership and guidance two new 4H Robotics clubs have formed; one of which is located onboard Dahlgren.
Both clubs are new to FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics competitions.
The club start up cost is high, as equipment must be purchased for use at meetings and participation in FIRST Robotics competitions.
Misch helped them obtain funding for their programs through the Operation Military Kids fund and grants.
Some of the existing clubs have grown and others have become more active and involved in the community under Misch’s guidance.
Seven clubs and more than 30 club members marched or rode the 4H float in the 2010 King George Fall Festival parade.
Misch takes the program full circle each year and hosts a 4H Achievement Night to publicly recognize members and leaders of all the clubs.
The club members set up exhibits featuring their activities and awards are presented to club members and leaders. Annually 75 to 100 4H’ers and family members attend the dinner and award ceremony.
Misch enjoys being able to honor the 4H participants every year and is always beaming from ear to ear with excitement at the event.
“I also had the honor of emceeing the 25th anniversary celebration of Fancy’s Friends 4H Dog Club in November,” said Misch.
She helps with preparation of the annual 4H summer camp. And in 2007 her innovative implementation of an Access database on a networked drive allowed campers from each county to be entered into a single camp database.
Misch was the 4H Camp Co-Director in 2009. She made all the advance preparations for both the 2009 and 2010 camps. Under her leadership the King George camping program has attracted an overflow of applicants.
The King George 4H Technician is dual hatted and also serves as the Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Technician. As such she assisted with the Green Talks gardening programs for local residents and continued the ANR program in 2010.
Additionally she conducts six-hour training sessions for all fourth and seventh grade students enrolled in county schools. Agriculture programs are geared to the lower grade and the seventh grade program addresses insects and ecology.
Her knowledge of natural resources also extends to some slithery creatures.
Misch is known for her garden worm expertise and constructed a habitat that was raffled off at the King George Home Show in 2010.
She maintains a presence at the show every year and can usually be found with her plush visual aid “Squirmy the Wormy” wrapped around her neck as she responds to gardening questions posed by local residents.
For the past six years during her off duty hours Misch served as a volunteer leader for the 4H Ecology Club. Working with three different teacher sponsors she helped provide an array of after school environmental programs for 7th and 8th graders.
Misch has effectively raised the bar for the 4H program in King George, but takes great delight in honoring others for their achievements.
At the 2009 annual Achievement Dinner she announced that Abell would be applying for All Star and presented her with a small plush gold Teddy Bear.
Misch encouraged and assisted her throughout the application process. And in 2010 Abell became the first King George 4H’er to achieve All Star status in 27 years.
Unlike the application for honorary All Star bestowed on adults, the 4H’ers process is extremely detailed requiring annotation and justification of achievements throughout their total 4H experience.
Misch attended the 4-H Congress for the first time in 2010 with six King George youth, one of whom was elected Ambassador. And she watched as Abell was tapped as an All Star.
This year, Abell tapped Misch as an All Star on the Virginia Tech campus on June 21.
Abell also tapped Coleman and said the trio was all smiles during the ceremony.
She considered it a great honor and an experience she would not soon forget.
“After nine years of growing up with them in 4-H as adult mentors helping me to always “Make the Best Better,” I was finally able to do something special for them,” said Abell.
The 4-H All Stars is a honor/service organization, with membership being the highest recognition that a Virginia 4-H’er can achieve.
With Misch serving as King George 4H Technician, all area 4H’ers have her to guide them on their 4H journey.
And for those that so desire, Misch will be there to light their way to achieve their own place of honor in the ever-growing local 4H All Star starburst galaxy.

Part one of this series was published in the July 13 Journal.

 

Marty van Duyne

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