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 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, Ornamental Horticulture, Advanced Interdisciplinary Agriculture Science

LIVESTOCK:  Market Chickens

JUDGING TEAM(S): Land Judging, Ag Marketing & COOP Ag Pests


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, Livestock Judging

Clemente Ayon
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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 received and Associate 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 Bachelor's in Agriculture Education along with his teaching credentials and master's 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:, Chemistry & Agriscience


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


Amanda Rodriguez

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 A-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


Ms. Araujo was born and raised in the South Coast Region. She graduated from Righetti High School in 1996 and entered Cal Poly in the same year. While studying hard at Cal Poly, Ms. 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 and may our years together be awesome. 
COURSES: Ag Survey, Agriscience & Physics, Biology & Sustainable Agriculture, Advanced Floral Design 
LIVESTOCK: Market Goats & Market Sheep
JUDGING TEAM(S): Floral Design

Morgan Kanamoto

Ms. Kanamoto:

Ms. Kanemoto is excited to be a part of Santa Maria FFA! She is from the small town of Los Banos where she grew up on a Horse Ranch. She had the opportunity to be involved in agriculture from a young age and became very involved showing horses across California. Along with horses Ms. Kanemoto showed many different types of livestock and became extremely involved in her FFA program. She attended Los Banos High School and after seeing all the hard work and fun the agriculture program was, she decided to become an agriculture teacher. She attended Fresno State and earned a degree in Agriculture Education with an emphasis in Animal Science. Ms. Kanemoto student taught at Central High School and Sierra High School where she instructed middle school and high school students. She is excited to continue being a saint this year! GO SAINTS! 


COURSES: Agriscience &  Physics, Biology & Sustainable Agriculture



Mrs. Barrueta was born and raised in Santa Maria, CA. She is a Santa Maria High School Alumni and is beyond excited to be back joining the agriculture program as an advisor. Throughout her time in high school, she was very involved within the program raising livestock, competing in judging teams and proficiencies as well as being an officer all throughout her time. In 2015 she was a part of the 1st National winning Milk Quality Dairy team since the Santa Maria FFA chapter was established in 1931. She attended Chico State University where she received her bachelor’s degree in agriculture education with a specialty in Animal Science. As a former English learner Mrs. Barrueta knew the struggles students face and because of this she received her Bilingual Authorization to be able to teach Agriculture courses in Spanish. She is excited to not only be a saint again but to also make an influence on her current and future students. She is in Room 336 and can’t wait to meet all of you!


COURSES: Biology & Sustainable Agriculture, Ariscience & Physics, & Ag Chemistry


JUDGING TEAM(S): AET Farm Record Book 


Special thank you 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!

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