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Commissioner Miller Honors Kayla Boettcher of Lexington High School With ‘GROW’ Award (11/16/2015)

AUSTIN - Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller today honored Kayla Boettcher, a freshman student from Lexington High School in Lexington, Texas, as the winner of the Texas Department of Agriculture’s (TDA) monthly GROW award. The award Gives Recognition for Outstanding Work to middle and high school students who demonstrate leadership and excellence inside and outside the classroom.

“I want to tip my hat to Kayla for earning this month’s GROW award,” Commissioner Miller said. “Thanks to young leaders like Kayla, the future of Texas looks brighter than ever. I couldn’t be more proud to honor Kayla, as she symbolizes everything I look for in a great leader — a strong work ethic, dedication to community and family, and a can-do attitude.”

Kayla was chosen from hundreds of Texas students for demonstrating leadership in her school activities and her commitment to community service.

"I would like to thank the Texas Department of Agriculture for awarding me this honor,” Kayla said. “I feel very blessed to receive this award and will continue to do my best in every aspect of my life. I would also like to thank my counselor, Mrs. Bayer, for nominating me for this award. Her confidence in me makes me want to work hard and be a positive example to others. I don't think people understand how important agriculture is to our lives and how it affects every single one of us. Being personally involved in agriculture on a daily basis makes this award even more special.”

Kayla is a straight A student and a member of the Lexington Independent School District’s Gifted and Talented Program. She takes challenging coursework and is known for continually raising the bar for herself academically. Kayla has participated in and won UIL competitions in Modern Oratory, Ready Writing and Oral Reading.

Kayla served as president of the National Jr. Honor Society and Student Council last year. Additionally, Kayla is involved in athletics as a member of the cross country, track and tennis teams. She also keeps stats for the football and baseball teams.

Kayla has been an active member of the FFA since she was 8 years old. She has demonstrated pride and dedication to her show animals, and her hard work has been rewarded with awards and recognition from shows across the state. Kayla has shown both steers and barrows at major livestock shows in Texas every year since age 8, and she also exhibited barrows at the World Pork Expo in Iowa. She has placed and sold many of these animals in premium auctions, and won grand and reserve champion honors at various livestock shows. 

Kayla was nominated by Anna Bayer, a counselor at Lexington High School. In her nomination, Bayer said that Kayla always has a kind word for others and is willing to lend a helping hand. Even as a freshman, Kayla has become a leader others seek out on campus. Her willingness to help others is admirable and sets a great example for others.

“Kayla is an exceptional student who has managed to balance and excel in school, her extracurricular activities, church and community.” Bayer said. “To see a student so involved and excelling as a freshman is exciting, and I am anxious to see what great things Kayla will do throughout high school.”

Kayla is a member of St. James Lutheran Church in Lexington. She has volunteered her time with various Rotary Club projects, such as Blue Santa. 

Kayla loves science and math, and hopes to attend Texas A&M University to earn a degree in engineering.

For more on Kayla’s accomplishments, click here.

The Texas Department of Agriculture established the GROW award to celebrate outstanding student leaders who demonstrate excellence in academic or extracurricular activities. Students can be nominated by community leaders such as teachers, coaches, school administrators, mayors, county judges or anyone else committed to recognizing youth leadership and achievement.

To nominate a promising middle or high school student, please visit TexasAgriculture.gov. One GROW award winner is chosen monthly. Nominations for next month’s award are due Dec. 1, 2015.