Agriculture Teachers &

FFA Advisors

Marc DeBernardi

Mr. DeBernardi has been a Saint all his life; well maybe not completely, but certainly when it comes to school pride and the competitive spirit that all fellow SMHS Saints have.  DeBo graduated from SMHS in 1990 and he has been a teacher here for over 25 years.  In Mr. DeBernardi’s spare time, he enjoys gardening, refereeing high school basketball and working on his family’s farm.  He looks forward to meeting new people and having an outstanding FFA year. 


COURSES: Survey of Agriculture, Biology & Sustainable Agriculture, Ornamental Horticulture, Advanced Interdisciplinary Agriculture Science

LIVESTOCK:  Market Chickens

JUDGING TEAM(S): Land Judging, Ag Marketign & CoOps

Mr. Guerra grew up going to a small country school here in the Santa Maria Valley.  In 1994 he graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a major in Agricultural Business.  Mr. Guerra is currently the Ag. Mechanics Instructor and stresses to his students that this is one of the most important classes that a student can be a part of in high school. Developing Leadership, citizenship, and a student’s self confidence is his goal for every student.  “Teaching here at Santa Maria High is certainly a pleasure; we have one of the best Agricultural Programs in the state and definitely some of the finest students.  There’s something for everyone to learn and enjoy”, says    Mr. Guerra, “So get involved.”


COURSES: Ag Mechanics, Advanced Ag Mechanics, Ag Welding, Advanced Ag Welding

LIVESTOCK: Beef Cattle

JUDGING TEAM(S): Farm Power, Ag Mechanics

Mr. Ayon is a graduate of SMHS & Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Mr. Ayon makes school & learning a fun experience.  He enjoys working with students and getting them excited about life and agriculture.  He is an amazing teacher to have you get a great hands on experience and travel with him to learn even more about animals!  Mr. Ayon is taught as a teacher educator at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo during the 2014-2015 School Year.


COURSES: Biology & Sustainable Agriculture, Animal Science, Veterinary Science, 

LIVESTOCK: Sheep & Goats

JUDGING TEAM(S): Veterinary Science

Clemente Ayon

Mr. Powell is an alumni of Santa Maria High School where he was actively involved in the FFA program. During his time in high school, he was on the Livestock Judging Team, a chapter officer and showed all species of animals. Upon graduation from high school he attended Modesto Junior College and receives and Associated of Science in Crop Science, Fruit Science, and Animal Science, in addition to being on the Livestock Judging Team and the Young Farmers President. From there, Mr. Powell continued his education at Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo where he obtained his Bachelors in Agriculture Education along with his teaching credentials and masters in Agriculture Education. Furthermore, while at Cal Poly he was the Collegiate FFA President, on the Livestock Judging Team and the secretary on the Student Consultant Fee Committee. Lastly, Mr. Powell is eager to work with the students of the Santa Maria High School Agriculture


Department Chair

COURSES: Biology & Sustainable Agriculture, Chemistry & Agriscience, Advanced Interdisciplinary Agriculture Science 


JUDGING TEAM(S): Dairy Products

Shannon Powell

Mrs. Powell is excited to begin the new school year with The Santa Maria FFA chapter and is looking forward to what this year has to offer. She began teaching in 2010 and started at Santa Maria High School in 2013; Mrs. Powell raised and showed livestock all 4 years while she was in High School. After graduating high school Mrs. Powell attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo where in 2008 she received her Bachelors in Ag Business and Masters in Agriculture Science in 2013. Mrs. Powell can't wait to see what holds of the upcoming school year.


COURSES: Agriscience & Physics, Chemistry & Agriscience

LIVESTOCK: Market Turkeys

JUDGING TEAM(S): Vegetable Crops

Melissa Flory-Guerra

Mrs. Flory-Guerra is no stranger to the FFA. She was an FFA member in high school where she received the honors of Star Regional Reporter in 1986 and Star State Degree in 1987.   Mrs. Guerra attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where she received a B.S. in Agri-Business Marketing in 1991.  After working 2 years in the agriculture industry, she returned to Cal Poly for her teaching credential and masters.  In 2000, she was awarded the CATA Outstanding Young Teacher award.  Mrs. Flory-Guerra is excited to be at Santa Maria High School where she hopes to make a positive difference in the lives of students.


COURSES: Ag Welding, Ag Economics, Ag Government

LIVESTOCK:  Beef Cattle


Mrs. Rodriguez is a former Santa Maria FFA member and graduate of Santa Maria High School.  Although she did not come from a farming background, she always had an interest in Agriculture. As a student she was very active in the FFA program in which she held multiple Chapter and Sectional offices, participated in various judging teams, and showed livestock at the Santa Barbara County Fair.  Mrs. Rodriguez also earned her American FFA Degree in 2006 while she was attending Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.  Mrs. Rodriguez, or Mrs. Rod as most students like to call her, is proud to be working in the Agriculture Department at Santa Maria High School. She believes that the program has something to offer every student and can’t wait to see what the new school year will bring.


COURSES: Chemistry & Agriscience, Beginning Floral Design, Ag Leadership

LIVESTOCK: Market Rabbits

JUDGING TEAM(S): Floral Design & Poultry

Ms. Araujo was born and raised in the South Coast Region. She graduated from Arroyo Grande High School in 1996 and entered Cal Poly in the same year. While studying hard at Cal Poly, Mrs. Araujo also worked hard at a flower shop and at a Crop Production office:) Her hard work paid off when she graduated from Cal Poly in 2002 and then received her Teacher Credential the same year. Ms. Araujo has had plenty of experience teaching at Lompoc High School and Golden West High School and she says that her goal is to "Help students gain confidence in themselves and also have them learn the importance of agriculture". Additionally, she also has the hands-on experience as she also worked in the Ag industry for a couple years. We are so lucky to have Mrs. Araujo here at Santa Maria High School FFA this year and may our year together be awesome. 
COURSES: Agriscience & Physics, Beginning Floral Design, Advanced Floral Design 
LIVESTOCK: Market Goats & Market Sheep
JUDGING TEAM(S): Nursery Landscape & Ag Pests
Kimura Yamamoto

Ms. Yamamoto is thrilled to join the Santa Maria High School Team as one of a team of ten Agriculture Teachers. She is from Santa Paula, a small agricultural community in Ventura County, CA. She attended Santa Paula High School where she was introduced to agricultural education through FFA and found her passion for raising animals. She received her bachelor's degree in Animal Science and a minor in Biology from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. During her undergraduate studies, she was fortunate to study Animal Science for a semester at Massey University in New Zealand. After graduation she lived and worked on a small, urban farm in Goleta, CA. She taught children about sustainable agriculture through afterschool programs and summer camps. The next stop in her journey was alternating between substitute teaching for part of the year and living in Brazil for the rest of the year where she taught English as a Foreign Language. Kimi returned to graduate school at Cal Poly and received her teaching credentials and Masters in Agricultural Education. She was the luckiest student teacher and was placed at Santa Maria High School the year prior and was even more fortunate to officially join the team for the 2020 - 2021 school year. Go Saints FFA!


COURSES: Agriscience &  Physics, Biology & Sustainable Agriculture


JUDGING TEAM(S): Horse, Parli-Pro, & B.I.G.

Michael Guerra

Mr. Guerra is a new addition to our 2020 Agriculture Department here at Santa Maria High School. Mr. Guerra received his Bachelor's in Agriculture Education at Fresno State University. He then Student Taught at Kingsburg High School, and Tulare High School Farm. Mr. Guerra teaches Ag Welding, and Ag Biology courses. If you are interested in plants, Mr. Guerra coaches the Fruit Tree Pruning and Agronomy CDE teams! This is Mr. Guerra's first year teaching and is very eager to get to know all the FFA Members. Mr. Guerra encourages you to find what interests you and get involved in FFA! Go Saints!


COURSES: Biology & Sustainable Agriculture, Ag Mechanics



Mrs. Moran is a Student Teacher in the Agriculture Department for the 2021 Spring Semester. She is currently completing her student teaching through Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo under the direction of Mrs. Shannon Powell. Mrs. Moran is enthusiastic about teaching Ag Biology, Ag Chemistry, Ag Earth and Animal Science. She has practical experience in Animal Science, Crop Science, and Leadership. She is motivated to grow student interests and knowledge through their educational journey while focusing on agriculture. She is passionate about hands-on and meaningful education. Mrs. Moran is also eager to incorporate FFA and SAE's in the classroom in order to create knowledgeable leaders in the agriculture industry


COURSES: Biology & Sustainable Agriculture, Chemistry & Agriscience



Special thanks to our Advisors for all of their hard work and dedication to the Santa Maria FFA Chapter. Without them, our members would not be as successful!