As of July 1, 2014, Hobbton High School, Sampson County Schools, and NC FFA will lose one of its most well-respected and influential leaders. Tim Warren, agriculture teacher and FFA advisor, is set to retire at the close of the 2013-14 school year. I cannot overstate how much of a loss this is for all of us. Mr. Warren, for more than three decades, has mentored students and produced many agriculture leaders in Sampson County, from state FFA officers to the director of North Carolina State FFA.
All one has to do is ask a former student how much Mr. Warren and his FFA program have meant to their lives, and they will tell you how Tim went to the end of the world to help them grow as both leaders and individuals. His countless hours have taught students responsibility and respect. For his entire 33-year career, he has made the one-hour drive from Raleigh to Hobbton, at times just to pick up his students and take them back to the NC State campus or fairgrounds. He has, likewise, personally touched the lives of many fortunate students like myself. His wise words of wisdom, advice and encouragement have helped us all grow, mature and evolve into the leaders of tomorrow. It truly is a privilege to call him teacher and advisor.
As I write this letter, I am reminded of what Mr. Warren has done for me and for countless other educators. As my mentor, he has taught me the importance of fostering meaningful relationships with students and how to give of myself to ultimately make a difference in the lives of those we teach. It has been awesome to watch, year after year, students enter Mr. Warren’s classroom and join the FFA as wide-eyed freshmen, only to leave as mature and impressive young adults. Mr. Warren is also family, who has taught us all more than how to work with students; he has modeled what it looks like to be a friend, a husband, and a father, and we each are forever grateful.
Like many, we have been fortunate enough to know a handful of great men in our lives. Without a doubt, Tim Warren stands out on that short list. He personifies the FFA Creed through the ways he promotes premier leadership, personal growth, and career success, for all his students, through agriculture education and the way he “believes” in the students and colleagues to whom he is entrusted.
T-Dub, we wish you happiness and fortune in your future endeavors. We thank you for all you have done for us and for all you have meant to us. You are the FFA. Always remember that we love you, and you will always have a home at Hobbton High School and in Sampson County.