Awards

Outstanding Middle/Secondary Program Awards

CASE IH

Sensational. This is the best way to describe this year’s NAAE Outstanding Middle/Secondary School Agriculture Education Programs.

The NAAE Awards these programs for their overall success, growth, and motivation. Case IH sponsored the outstanding Middle/Secondary Program Awards.

Region I
Lone Peak High School
Cedar Valley, Utah
Instructor: Michael Gowans
Region IV
Clopton High School
Clarksville, Missouri
Instructors: Tim Reller and Mike McCrory
Region II
Oklahoma Union High School
South Coffeyville, Oklahoma
Instructors: Kevin Stacey and David Maxey
Region V
Eastern Randolph High School
Ramseur, North Carolina
Raymond Caviness, Amy Kidd, and Marguerite Field
Region III
Beaver Dam High School
Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
Instructor: David R. Laatsch
Region VI
St. Marys High School
St. Marys, West Virginia
Instructor: Jason Hughes

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Region I
Lone Peak High School
Cedar Valley, Utah
Instructor: Michael Gowans

Outstanding is the only way to describe a program that was chartered six years ago and is now the third largest chapter in the state of Utah with an active membership of high achieving students. Outstanding is the only way that Michael Gowans would have it. Michael has set high expectations for his students from the start; only allowing members to participate in activities, conventions, or award applications if they maintain above a 3.0 GPA and encouraging students to keep up involvement in other activities that interest them, not just FFA. As an agricultural educator Gowans has focused on guiding his students in hands on activities that apply learning and believes that every student can learn, they just learn differently.

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Region II
Oklahoma Union High School
South Coffeyville, Oklahoma
Instructors: Kevin Stacey and David Maxey

The winners of this year’s Region II Outstanding Program Award are used to winning. Over the last twelve years Oklahoma Union advisors Kevin Stacy and David Maxey have had 50 students compete in state public speaking, 46 state FFA degrees, and won 11 state CDE sweepstakes trophies. No small feat for this program at a consolidated high school in northeastern Oklahoma.

The teaching philosophy of the Oklahoma Union agricultural education program is simple; give all students an opportunity to excel. Stacey and Maxey live that philosophy by seeking to motivate students, offering a broad range of areas, and allowing students to learn at their own pace. While the winners of this award are used to winning the focus isn’t on winning, it’s on the students.

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Region III
Beaver Dam High School
Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
Instructor: David R. Laatsch

The Beaver Dam agricultural education program has a rich tradition; a tradition of dedicated teachers, a tradition of excellence in Wisconsin FFA, a tradition of strong community ties, a tradition of raising the bar. This last tradition is the reason this program is this year’s Outstanding Program winner. Whether it is in the over 100 American and State FFA degree recipients they have had since 1976 or the several thousands of dollars in annual scholarships given to deserving seniors, this program is definitely at the top of the class.

The success of this program has been largely attributed to the leadership of David Laatsch. As the third teacher of this program that was one of the first in the state, Laatsch has been proactive, being the first in the state to integrate agricultural science and Wisconsin Fast Plants into curriculum. This combination of tradition and innovation has combined to make an incredible agricultural education experience for students.

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Region IV
Clopton High School
Clarksville, Missouri
Instructors: Mike McCrory and Tim Rellar

The Clopton Agricultural Education program has an enrollment of 192 students, over 70% of the entire high school student body! Students can choose from 13 class offerings ranging from Agriculture Design and Drafting to Bioscience in Agriculture. Students also participate in a variety of local, state and national FFA events, as well as participating in community service activities. In the past 3 years, over 30 teams from the chapter have advanced to compete at State Competitions.

Mike McCrory in his 24th year at Clopton and Tim Reller in 7th are continually updating the technology available to their students. Improvements to the agricultural mechanics facility have given students experience with new equipment and machinery. The addition of a 25 station computer lab has allowed the program to create a strong computer aided drafting and design program, which the instructors hopes, helps the students meet the constant changes in the agricultural field.

Much of the success of the program relies upon the teaching philosophy of Mr. McCrory and Mr. Reller. They believe that by offering a wide variety of classes to meet student needs and by setting high expectations for their students, they set them up for success. "We remind them of the expectations on every project so that they will not lower their standards. By the end of the year, we are getting higher quality work than we ever expected", states Mr. McCrory.

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Region V
Eastern Randolph High School
Ramseur, North Carolina
Raymond Caviness, Amy Kidd, and Marguerite Field

If you asked the teachers at Eastern Randolph what they teach, you might expect the answer to be agriculture, but the answer you would get is “students.” All three would agree that the vehicle that they use to do this is agriculture, but their ultimate concern is teaching students life lessons.

Changing the program at Eastern Randolph from traditional agricultural practices to cutting edge agriscience concepts has allowed the three instructors in the program to prepare students for an active role in their local community as well as careers in agriculture. With the addition of greenhouses, a small research lab and an outdoor classroom, students are able to apply skills learned in the classroom. With the help of grants secured by the program, students will soon have the opportunity to learn about aquaculture and bioponics.

Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects add to the success of the students. Over 90 percent of the students have a project, ranging from work study experience to raising livestock and landscaping.

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Region VI

St. Marys High School
St. Marys, West Virginia
Instructor: Jason Hughes

The St. Marys agricultural education program utilizes its resources in the community and agricultural industry to have one of the most innovative programs in the state. Believing that diversity is an important concept in the program, Mr. Hughes mixes new and traditional agricultural practices to provide students with opportunity to “find their calling” while participating in class work.

With the assistance of state grant monies, an aquaculture lab was created from an existing greenhouse to give students hands on experience in a grow-out and hatchery Tilapia facility. The students are involved in all areas of production in the facility, from water quality monitoring to the proper nutrition of the fish. Opportunities in the program don’t end with the aquaculture facility. Students can also take a course in hydroponics, producing organically grown lettuce that is sold in the local grocery store.

With the help of grants and support from their Partner in Education, Alpharma, the St. Marys program has been able to construct a laboratory and purchase lab equipment to begin a biotechnology course, the first of its kind in West Virginia. Students perform countless experiments and gain experience with a variety of lab equipment.

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