Meet the Candidates
This year we have two candidates for the office of NAAE President-elect. Read each candidates' statement to get an idea of their priorities and goals if elected. Elections will be held at the upcoming NAAE Convention, so get informed now.
My agricultural education career began in 1989 as a 7th grader who competed in the parliamentary procedure contest. Through Junior High and High School my love, admiration and passion for agricultural education grew and confirmed that this was the career choice for me. The experiences I had were a result of educators taking an interest and pushing me to be successful.
I earned my Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education at the University of Florida and my Master of Science in Agricultural Education from Mississippi State University. During my studies, I strengthened my desire to teach and to make a positive difference in the lives of students. It was during my collegiate experiences that I first discovered and joined our professional organization.
In 2001 I began my teaching career at Deltona High School. The challenge of a struggling program both excited me and made me nervous. As I began working with youth, I knew this was the right field for me. I pushed my students to set high goals for our chapter and for themselves. My students started finding success though the many activities of the chapter.
I knew of our professional organizations in college as I received several FAAE sponsored awards. As a paid member I was asked to assist on committees and then in officer positions for FAAE. I attended my first NAAE Convention in Florida and assisted with tours and the state social. My passion and love for FAAE and NAAE have grown through the years and I truly believe in advocating for these associations. I am not sure where I would be today if I had not found my place with these organizations. I know that I am an agricultural educator by choice and not by chance.
Recruitment and Retention
I believe that agricultural educators have the best job in the world. I also believe that our job is time consuming and overwhelming at times. The recruitment efforts of NAAE include not only the Teach Ag Day campaign, but also having a presence at FFA National Convention and other conferences. I believe the best recruitment also takes place at the local level. We as teachers must encourage our best and brightest that agricultural education is a viable career choice that is rewarding.
Once we recruit, it is imperative that we assist and mentor young teachers. Some states have an agricultural education mentoring program in place. I encourage state leaders to formulate a mentoring plan for their state. Some may have a formal plan whereas others may assign those who need assistance informally. NAAE provides resources and Communities of Practice to help mentor.
I believe that mentoring others is the best way to protect the future of our organization and profession. The Teachers Turn the Key Program has promoted our organization to new teachers and encouraged their involvement. In these economic times, if we can help and encourage teachers, we can succeed as a profession.
Advocacy must begin at home. I believe that we are each equally responsible for our advocacy efforts on the local, state and national level. NAAE can provide a foundation for advocacy as well as resources for our membership. I believe it is vital for members to advocate for their program on all levels. I also believe that we should advocate for our profession.
Advocacy efforts are not done on Capitol Hill alone. I hope NAAE can assist all states and members with their advocacy efforts. Continued support of these grassroots efforts are a must for the future of our organization.
I believe we are morally obligated to provide the best educational experience to the students in our care. I know that experiences will differ across our nation, as the agricultural needs differ. Living in a suburban community, my personal experiences bring literacy of the agricultural world alive for my students.
Beyond literacy, I must help students succeed in areas of reading, math and science as part of my curriculum. Rigor and relevance are the backbone of agricultural education. As accountability becomes more prominent, we must continue our rigorous efforts in agricultural education.
I believe that as educators, our learning never ends. NAAE offers professional development opportunities to members at national FFA Convention, NAAE Convention, Regional Conferences and more. Webinars and Communities of Practice also offer professional development without travel concerns. I believe that NAAE offers many opportunities in which members can participate. As NAAE works with other organizations, the opportunities for members will increase and improve. I hope you take advantage of all the opportunities offered.
In closing, it has been an honor to serve our profession on the NAAE board. It is humbling to represent so many outstanding teachers and programs across the country. If given the opportunity to continue my service as NAAE President-Elect and then President, I promise to bring my passion, knowledge, love and leadership forward for this organization. Thank you for your consideration in this office. Please do not hesitate to let me know if I can be of any help to you or your program.
email@example.com Cell: (386) 804-1260
Deltona High School Work: (386) 575-4153 ext 44081
100 Wolfpack Run Home: (386) 532-6458
Deltona, FL 32725
I am an agricultural educator at Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, Iowa. During my 33-year career, I have taught at the high school and postsecondary level with the goal of preparing my students for the agriculture industry. I have taught animal science, agronomy, agricultural mechanics, horticulture and agricultural business applications utilizing classroom instruction as the vehicle for developing student leadership.
I believe that the industry we represent requires us to be life-long learners through adaptability. The Agricultural Education model of instruction, experiential learning and leadership continues to be our strength in addressing educational reform issues.
The NAAE is our professional association and should take the lead in developing and guiding the agricultural education agenda. I believe that to remain relevant in the era of educational reform, we need to implement those practices that incorporate STEM through validation within the classroom.
Recruitment & Retention
The success of agricultural education as a profession in the future will require a new vision. The challenges will be multi-faceted as we address minority and cultural differences across the country. As a profession, we must take the lead in seeking out and developing qualified teachers who have an understanding of the opportunities and expectations for a global industry. Our Teach Ag campaign has served as a great recruitment tool with mentoring programs assisting in retention. We need to look towards the next step in this evolution through collaborative efforts with teacher education programs to ensure that our next generation is prepared for the rigors of the profession.
The success of Agricultural Education relies on our ability to tell the story to an audience that has become disconnected. Where do we see our profession in five, ten or 15 years and what type of impact will we have on student success? We need to continue developing an advocacy agenda as a profession and work with the National Council for Agricultural Education and other industry partners to ensure that a consistent message is delivered. As a profession, each of us must be committed to building relationships at the local, state and federal levels that will give us a voice during these challenging times. We should use the concept of “Re-Design, Re-Train, Re-Build” to address our advocacy agenda.
As a profession, we need to continue providing professional development opportunities for our members that will enhance their classroom instruction and provide creative alternative delivery systems. The NAAE through collaborative efforts with the Council, ACTE and the agribusiness industry can create a stronger connection for the membership through these efforts. We will continue to develop leadership training workshops to address the needs of association leaders at both the regional and national level.
I believe that for the NAAE to remain relevant to the membership it must be in a proactive rather than a reactive mode. We are have implemented and manage many programs within the organization that have provided the membership with opportunities to share and lead. (I.e. CoP, Ag Ed Relief Fund, mentoring, professional development). We need to look forward and determine our future as an organization as part of the educational reform process.
As a classroom teacher, I have appreciated the connections that we all share as a profession to train a new generation of agriculturists for a dynamic industry. The opportunities that this profession has allowed me to experience on your behalf have been unbelievable. I believe that it is time for me to give back to that profession and would welcome your suggestions on how I can best serve you. I would be honored to serve the profession as NAAE President-Elect.
Craig McEnany firstname.lastname@example.org
Agribusiness Program Cell phone: 515-371-2478
Des Moines Area Community College Office Phone: 515-964-6866
2006 S. Ankeny Blvd. Home phone: 515-382-6898
Ankeny, IA 50023