Scholarship program honors CutlerPublished 9:40pm Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Forty years in vocational agriculture and another 15 years volunteering with Northside High School’s FFA chapter did not prepare Guy Cutler for the surprise that awaited him at this year’s banquet.
The Northside High School FFA chapter surprised its former teacher with a scholarship endowment in his name.
“I really had no idea it would ever happen,” Cutler said. “And the amount of money they raised, I couldn’t believe it.”
Ashley Stewart, the high school’s current agricultural education teacher, came up with the idea. She enlisted Cutler’s friend and former student, Donnie Cutler (no relation), to coordinate the project.
“It was a pleasure. We had a lot of folks come together for this. He was a mentor to a lot of folks and a lot of them became farmers because of Mr. Cutler,” Donnie Cutler said.
His goal for the endowment is to raise $15,000. Annual scholarships will be awarded from the interest accumulated.
Donnie Cutler made a list of former students and colleagues of Guy Cutler at the start of the year. His wife, Sara, started researching how to set up the endowment.
“It was almost effortless,” Sara said. “My husband started asking for donations and in less than two weeks, he had $17,000. That’s just one more testament of the impact Mr. Cutler has made on this community.”
Guy Cutler attends just about every FFA event Northside has. Sara Cutler said he jumps in with both feet at the annual barbecue-plate fundraiser and is always there for the students.
By the night of the banquet, the endowment had reached $20,000, and it continues to grow. Donnie Cutler said at the rate it has grown, each scholarship could end up being $1,000 to $1,500 each year.
Hundreds of Cutler’s admirers attended the FFA banquet, which included a signing ceremony to complete the endowment process. Donations continued to pour in at the event.
“It was quite an honor,” Guy Cutler said. “I feel pretty good about myself now, for an old man.”
The Guy A. Cutler Northside FFA Scholarship will go to a Northside student active in the vocational agriculture program and planning a career in agriculture.
The chapter’s most outstanding senior, Valerie Tunnell, is the first recipient of the Guy A. Cutler Northside FFA Scholarship. She will be continuing her education at East Carolina University this fall.