Distinguished principal credits FFA to influencing her career success
As one of the most distinguished educators in the country, Michelle Krell is busy running an elementary school, but she doesn’t forget where her roots started.
Krell was involved in Future Farmers of America (FFA) all throughout her high school years while growing up in Blooming Prairie.
And even to this day she still gives back to the organization that she credits for molding her into the person she has become.
Krell has been a member of the Blooming Prairie FFA Alumni Association for the past 15 years. The alumni association financially supports the local FFA program. One of the biggest fundraisers each year is the toy show.
She is the principal at Kasson-Mantorville and just last fall was named one of 61 outstanding principals across America. She was the only one from Minnesota to achieve the honor, which brought her to Washington, D.C.
The FFA program, Krell says, has been one of two influential organizations that have helped her achieve success throughout her life. The other was 4-H. Both groups have propelled her into high achievement with whatever she takes on.
“I was a pretty proud farm girl,” Krell said. “I learned how to work hard and value the work ethic you get by working on a farm.”
Over the years, she has found that people often think that FFA is only about agriculture. But, Krell said, that’s far from the truth as FFA helps instill quality traits including critical thinking, public speaking and communication skills.
Krell said, “FFA has all those quality traits that it takes kids to be successful in life. It will make you a well-rounded individual.”
In her own life, Krell credits FFA with helping to develop top-notch communication skills. Being an effective communicator plays of significant importance as a principal, she noted.
Even her two grown children, Justin and Jenna, were involved in FFA and “it helped shape their lives,” Krell said. During his senior year, Justin went on to become an officer in FFA on the state level.
After going to college, Justin came back home to Blooming Prairie where he farms with his father, Rodney, and works as a sales consultant for Producers Hybrids, a seed company. Justin also is a volunteer firefighter.
“FFA helped shape them into the individuals they are and become the successful adults they are,” Krell said of her children. “Some of the most important things they’ve learned in their lives came from FFA and 4-H,” she added.
Krell recommends FFA for any high school child. “I think it’s so important to encourage our youth to be involved in organizations like FFA,” she said. “It gives them an opportunity to explore their interests and to learn skills that are necessary to be a successful adult.”
With FFA, there are so many opportunities and facets to explore skills and abilities, according to Krell.
“Every kid can find success in FFA,” she said. “The more involved you are, he more opportunities you will have.”