“My favorite class is probably ag class, agriculture science, and I like it because we get to do a lot of hands-on stuff,” said John Hubbell, valedictorian at Patagonia Union High School.
Knowing Hubbell’s interests outside of the classroom, it’s no surprise that his academic preferences also lean towards farm studies.
For several years, he has participated in 4-H, following in the steps of his older brothers.
“For four years I raised a different pig and sold it at the fair and then for five or six years I raised a steer and sold it at the fair,” he said.
With his dad, Hubbell has drilled and serviced water wells in the local area.
So when Hubbell entered high school, it was an opportune moment. His freshman year was the first year in “a long time” that PUHS offered an agriculture program.
“We got lucky,” he said. “So I’ve been involved all four years it’s been a lot of fun.”
“We have a chicken coop that we built, and then we raised chickens and then we get to do labs and learn about animal science,” he recalled.
The teacher that has influenced him the most? “I would say probably my ag teacher, Amanda Zamudio.”
Zamudio also advises the Future Farmers of America club at PUHS, which Hubbell was involved in for four years, participating in a range of agricultural contests including livestock judging.
The team has had some success. Hubbell recounted, without bravado: “There’s a district contest (for livestock judging) and then a state contest, and so we got second in the state contest.”
At PUHS, Hubbell was second to none. The class valedictorian said that his motivation was simple: “You have to be here, you might as well try. Give it your best.”
But he also remembered one person who has always pushed him to succeed.
“My mom always pushed me to get good grades, ever since I was little,” Hubbell recalled. Laughing, he added: “Basically I just didn’t want to hear her nag at me, so I figured I’d better get good grades so I didn’t have to listen to her complain!”
Hubbell plans to spend the summer working with his dad again, servicing wells. That job helped inspire his future plans. In the fall, he will head to Tucson to study hydrology at the University of Arizona.
He said he is looking forward to the next step. “It’s always a little bit scary, I guess, a new change. But I’m excited for it.”