Greetings Wood River!
If I was ever asked where I would end up living, I’m confident that Wood River, Nebraska wouldn’t have made the short list. It could be because two years ago I didn’t know it even existed. However, as luck, prayer, and faith intervened, Wood River has become our home away from home and I couldn’t be happier about that.
My name is Zana DeJong, the agricultural education instructor and FFA Advisor. I started off this adventure of life outside of Salem, Nebraska where my family lived on the state line. Due to the proximity to Kansas and my mother being a teacher in Kansas, I never attended school in Nebraska. I grew up participating in 4-H, helping on the family farm, and being watched by my grandparents’ dairy where the work ethic, determination, and compassion were instilled in my by my family.
I graduated from Hiawatha High School in 2007 where I had been active in FFA, athletics, band, and many clubs and organizations. I was very thankful to go to a school that provided many opportunities even if that meant I was constantly busy going from one event to the next. After some soul searching and college visits, I landed on a major in agricultural education at The Kansas State University. I was proud to become a Wildcat and have been a proud alumnus since 2011. I am currently a student as I work on finishing my Master’s in agricultural education.
From Manhappiness, I began my teaching career in Goessel, Kansas. While at Goessel, I was privileged enough to work with great students and staff that allowed me to receive a few teaching awards, have the 8th best FFA chapter in the state, be a coach of a state champion team in volleyball, and a proud supporter of state winning band and chorus programs.
Then in one crazy summer, I traveled to Maryland for some teacher training where I met Wyatt DeJong. I was the representative from Kansas and Wyatt represented South Dakota. As we bonded over inquiry based learning and our love for agricultural education, we kept in touch over a year where we served as Agricultural Education Ambassadors. After a surprise proposal on a livestock judging trip in the middle of winter, I packed up my life in Kansas and headed north. From there, we were married in June of 2017. We resided in his hometown of Winner, South Dakota for one year where Wyatt was the resident agricultural teacher and I worked on my Masters and tended to our funny farm, while being the Assistant FFA Advisor.
As differences in vision arose, Wyatt and I looked for a new school that could match our vision, and found it at Wood River. I have been the agricultural education instructor for the past two years. Wyatt and I spend most of our time in vehicles traveling to Kansas, South Dakota, and cattle shows across the nation. We love any free time we have spending it working with cattle or on the ranch in South Dakota. We have two puppies, Maisy and Lola that keep us on our toes. Together we have eleven nieces and nephews that we love to spoil and spend time with. Our nomadic life has been full of adventures and we have been blessed to travel across the nation and abroad through FFA and agriculture.