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Virginia 4-H Emerald Clover Award winner Nancy Moga (at left) with Jeremy Johnson, associate director and state 4-H leader. Moga was honored for her decades of dedicated service to the youth of Virginia.

Nancy Moga receives the Virginia 4-H Emerald Clover Award

Blacksburg, VA (Feb. 2, 2024) - Nancy Moga of Covington has been honored with the Virginia 4-H Emerald Clover Award in recognition of her decades of service to the youth of Virginia as an educator, volunteer, and role model.

Virginia 4-H Emerald Clover Award winner Nancy Moga (at left) with Jeremy Johnson, associate director and state 4-H leader. Moga was honored for her decades of dedicated service to the youth of Virginia.Moga, a retired school principal from Alleghany County and lifelong 4-H supporter, accepted the award during An Evening with 4-H, the annual award ceremony and celebration in Richmond honoring the best and brightest of Virginia 4-H.

Moga began her involvement with Virginia 4-H in 1963 as a fifth grade student in Louisa County.

“I was hooked from the beginning,” she said. “Even before I was old enough to go to school, I observed my older sisters completing their 4-H projects and competitions. 4-H has been part of me for more than 65 years – from all my different youth projects to camp to district and state meetings to serving as 'big chief' of the Virginia 4-H All Stars.”

Moga earned her bachelor’s degree in management, housing, and family development from Virginia Tech in 1976 and her master’s degree in education from the University of Virginia in 1979.

Her career in education spans 42 years as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal. She retired in 2018 after spending 25 years as the principal of Callaghan Elementary School in Covington. A past president of the Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals, Moga was named the National Distinguished Principal for Virginia in 2001. She earned Virginia Tech’s Alumni Distinguished Service Award in 2017.

“It never seemed like work. I wanted school to be a place where children wanted to be and where they were safe and could thrive,” she said. “I worked with teachers and staff to use their talents and skills to bring out the best in our students. I wanted parents to know that we were a team to help their child succeed.”

An active member of the Virginia 4-H All Stars – an honorary service organization for veteran 4-Hers – since 1970, Moga lives by the All Star motto of “Service.” From 2000-22, she led the All Stars as “big chief” through the pandemic and helped organize the group’s in-person centennial celebration at Virginia Tech in 2022.

Throughout the past five decades, Moga has served in longstanding volunteer leadership roles for organizations including the Virginia 4-H Foundation board of directors, Covington Woman’s Club, the Virginia Tech Alumni Association board of directors, the Virginia Tech College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Advisory Board, Virginia Tech School of Education Advisory Board, Virginia International 4-H Youth Exchange Association, and the Valley Baseball League, among others.

Though officially retired, Moga currently dedicates her time to a variety of causes including the Virginia 4-H All Stars, volunteering as a cashier for the Alleghany Highlands Arts and Crafts Center, working as a docent for Alleghany Highlands Industrial Heritage and Technology Discovery Center in Covington, and serving as chair of ushers at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Covington.

She also enjoys riding her bike more than 100 miles a week, picking up trash along the way.

As Moga accepted her award on Jan. 25, she was joined by her husband, Nick, of 47 years, two sisters, and a brother, who are also 4-H alumni and All Stars.

“4-H taught me to plan and organize, to start and to complete an activity, and to meet deadlines,” she said. “I learned leadership, citizenship, and teamwork. These are all important as an educator, and in any profession or volunteer work. Our youth need to learn these skills so that they can make our communities and world a better place. What better place is there than 4-H to learn all this?”

Virginia 4-H is the youth development education program of Virginia Cooperative Extension. More than 192,000 Virginia 4-H members are developing leadership, citizenship, and a vast array of life skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. Through school-based, after-school, and community clubs as well as camp settings, 4-H members pledge to build a better community, country, and world

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