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Spotlight on . . . SuEllen Mooney, Collin County Master Gardener

By Dawn Oldfield, CCMGA Public Relations Chairperson

A gifted teacher and natural leader, SuEllen Mooney was the 2021 Master Gardener of the Year. She is known to the Master Gardener training class leaders, students, and mentors, but not by most of the general membership. You’ll want to get to know this dynamic lady!

CCMGA President, Edie Fife says, “SuEllen is someone you want to work with. She is always polite, pleasant, prepared, humble, modest, quiet and FUN! She is one of those people who works quietly behind the scenes and accomplishes so much. Her contributions to CCMGA are many.”

A graduate of the Class of 2016, SueEllen shares, “I come from a family of gardeners in rural Kentucky. My Dad and the next door neighbor tried to outdo each other with their beautiful vegetable gardens. That’s where my interest in growing things began. As an adult, becoming a Master Gardener became one of my first goals after I retired from teaching. We were living in Houston at that time, and at the informational meeting it was clear our travel plans would cause me to miss too many classes. It was not to be. This was actually a good thing because the next year we moved to Frisco where gardening, as you know, is quite different. CCMGA had just hosted the state meeting and I was sold! My application was added to the waiting list and I was delighted to be included.”

SuEllen's passion for education is reflected in the many hats she wears supporting CCMGA. She says, “Education is the heart of our mission. I have served as Scholarship Committee Co-Chair along with Jeri Wise; Chair of this year’s nominating committee where I contacted candidates for open board positions, ensuring they meet prerequisites and presenting them to the membership for a vote; and I led the Education team for the 2020 and 2021 Training Classes — writing homework and quizzes. Through the scholarship committee we reach out and through the training class we reach in to multiply our efforts to promote the best horticultural practices.”  

SuEllen smiles, “I am in awe of the deep spirit of volunteerism, the creativity and expertise of our members. Diverse backgrounds and experiences are united by dedication to earth keeping and sharing information. It is an honor to collaborate with such wonderful people!”

When she’s not working behind the scenes to enrich our education mission, you’ll most likely find SuEllen interacting with customers at the CCMGA ‘Big Three.’ SuEllen adds, “I’m also beginning to “dabble” in Speakers Bureau opportunities.”

SuEllen would encourage anyone with a passion for gardening and community to join CCMGA. “It is important to understand Master Gardeners receive this wonderful training in order to be equipped to volunteer. Volunteering is the ongoing end goal.”

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