Teacher Spotlight: Mike Patrick
Yelm High School
Outstanding Teacher Award Winner
With all of his accomplishments and responsibilities, one might think Mike Patrick never sleeps. However, it is not lack of rest that allows him to get everything done; it is never-failing commitment, enthusiasm and drive to impact the future of every student. Patrick is one of seven agriculture teachers at Yelm High School in Yelm, Washington who together, teach more than 1,000 students annually. His area of focus is horticulture, but he also serves as the head of the Agri-Science Department at Yelm.
“I work to make each of my courses real and relevant. I know I am successful when the students take ownership and drive the curriculum rather than me,” Patrick said.
This philosophy has led the Yelm agriscience program and FFA chapter to be successful at numerous levels. Some of their accomplishments include multiple Models of Innovation nominations by the National FFA Organization, a national-winning FFA Agricultural Sales team, and two national-winning FFA individuals. Beyond awards, however, the program at Yelm stands out for its unwavering commitment to the local community; this is exemplified by numerous community service projects and volunteer hours by members of the Yelm agriscience program.
“I believe that Mike Patrick is the perfect example of an Outstanding Teacher,” said Elaine Lewis, fellow agriscience instructor at Yelm High School. “His commitment and professionalism serve as a model and mentor to students and peers. His unselfish dedication has meant success for many lives and changed futures.”
Patrick is one of only six individuals nationwide who received the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) Outstanding Teacher Award. Each of the six regional winners received a two-year lease on a Toyota Tundra, expense paid trip to the annual convention, dinner in their honor, and plaque. Toyota sponsors the Outstanding Teacher Award as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.