FFA was my favorite extracurricular activity at GHS, and a large part of that is attributed to having Dan Scherer as our ag teacher/FFA advisor. Dan loves competition, whether it's on the goalline or 18th hole, but most of all in FFA competitions. Even more so, Dan loves seeing kids develop purposeful, life-long skills of leadership, self-reliance and teamwork. Dan cares so much about giving kids the opportunity to be successful in life. It didn't matter if it was before school, late at night. He'd be there to help you with your SAE, practicing for an FFA contest or something for one of his classes. How many teams ask for extra practice? Ask for a tougher challenge? Not many, but it's a common occurrence in Gothenburg FFA.
Being successful, and running a large chapter like Gothenburg is hard work for the advisor and the students. Dan never made it seem like work at the time. Dan has an unmatched gift for motivating and inspiring students to work hard and achieve great things and maintain a devotion to each other's success. I've never seen anything quite like it. He will go to bat for any of his students, and I know we'd all do the same for him. Even today, I wouldn't think twice about running straight into battle with him as a former student and close friend.
His competitive drive for excellence, his passion for agriculture and service to others has been contagious to every group of kids that's ever walked into his classroom, from all backgrounds and walks of life. Whether they grew up on a farm or in town, students were drawn to his classes and the FFA Chapter. He always would provide that sound advice you were looking for, and could connect with students wherever they might be mentally and emotionally. Gothenburg FFA under his watch, became this self-perpetuating machine of talent and success. The trophies, awards and recognition have all been fun and great. But he also taught kids to turn around at the top of the ladder of success, and humbly reach down to the next in line and help them up.
I have so many great memories with my fellow classmates, and officers, and of people we met from all over the state and nation. FFA took us to District, State and National Conventions and Washington D.C.; lots of places that had I not been in FFA I probably wouldn't have gotten to see as a high schooler. A lasting tribute to his positive influence on students is this motivation and understanding within each of his students of the importance to stay involved in leadership and volunteer roles. I see past students in and outside of agriculture, and they are the ones involved in organizations, sitting on boards, doing their part to further and improve the world within their spheres of influence. I definitely credit a lot of my interest in serving as President of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association to my time spent in FFA and what I learned from Dan about leadership and service.
The charisma of the brotherhood and fellowship that our FFA Chapter has is truly special. As students of Dan's classes, we can all instantly bond over his epic one liners, fun adventures, and lessons learned.
-- Andy Jobman