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||Yelm High School
Instructors: Elaine Lewis, Matt Mounts, Dusti Nash, Mike Patrick and Sheryl Perry
|Region II||Centre High School
Lost Springs, Kansas
Instructor: Gaea Wimmer
|Region III||Monticello High School
Instructor: Brian Feldpausch
|Region IV||Alma High School
Instructor: Burton Henry
|Region V||Southern Nash High School
Bailey, North Carolina
Instructors: Mike Bartholomew, Clark Adams, Daniele Kidd and Ralph Pegram
|Region VI||Edward W. Wyatt Middle School
Instructor: Teresa Lindberg
"The school has developed an outstanding five-person program that delivers unique and cutting edge curriculum in production agriculture, horticulture, natural resources, agribusiness and agricultural mechanics," stated Dennis Wallace, Career and Technical Educator Director. Yelm Agricultural Education Program's philosophy is to offer all students the opportunity to develop lifelong skills. The instructors strive to develop citizenship, leadership, and cooperation skills within their students. Individuals who leave the program are prepared with critical thinking and problem solving skills and possess the ability to adapt to new situations.
The Yelm Agricultural Education Program offers up-to-date curriculum while incorporating new technologies with hands-on activities, as well as providing cross credits in Social Studies, Fine Arts, and Science. Students develop career-based skills by raising trout and salmon; managing a 5-acre wood lot; designing, installing, and maintaining landscape plots; and serving as an employee of the future floral shop.
"The Yelm FFA Chapter is an exemplary organization that provides outstanding educational and leadership programs for youth," expressed Lois Baker, Director of Yelm Community Schools. Yelm FFA has been a 3-Star Chapter for the last 9 years and has participated in numerous community service projects.
In 1978, the Centre Agricultural Education program came to life. Shortly after, the Centre FFA Chapter was chartered. The program is composed of 15 classes in General Agriculture and Agriculture Mechanics. Innovative and comprehensive courses are offered by utilizing 2 classrooms, a metal shop, a wood shop, a lab room, and a greenhouse. The small size of the classes enables the instructors to individualize instruction more often and tailor the curriculum to fit the needs of the student.
Granzow and Wimmer's provide all students with the opportunity to maximize their skills and assist them in selecting and preparing for career success in whatever they choose to do. "The 2 instructors have a true passion for excellence, education and student achievement and inspire their students to set goals and then achieve them," stated Beth Riffel, Patron of USD 397.
The Centre Agriculture Program is a service-oriented program. Dedicated students conduct numerous service activities including Adopt-a-Highway, Blood Drive, and planting flowers for senior citizens. Currently, the Centre FFA members have donated their time and energy to assist with the construction of the Community Center in Lincolnville.
"My mission is to create a classroom that enables all students to learn and gain a sense of achievement," expressed Feldpausch. Over the past ten years the Monticello High School agricultural education program has gone from nearly non-existent to one of the strongest programs in Iowa. It has been through Feldpausch's diverse curriculum and aggressive recruitment program that support began to gather from parents and community leaders in the agriculture program. Today Feldpausch offers courses that cater to a divers group of students in subjects such as; agriscience, animal and plant science, agricultural business and sales and horticulture.
The Monticello agriculture program now enjoys a 1200 square foot greenhouse, a 15-acre demonstration farm, an agriculture mechanics shop and a computer lab. Community enthusiasm and administrative support have also grown tremendously increasing funding for the program. Feldpausch state that his, "Students will leave the classroom ready for their future."
"Students learning how to learn is one of the most important life skills we teach, coupled with leadership and personal development," stated Henry. Mr. Henry's mentor taught him the importance of teaching a relevant curriculum that is project-based, inter-disciplinary and student driven. In order to cater to both the students' and the community's needs Henry offers a variety of courses that meet the demands of a changing society.
In addition to learning about agriculture, the Alma agricultural program is about teaching everyone about the importance of agriculture. "We are advocates of both education and literacy about agriculture and the environment," expressed Henry. Henry believes that, "By building partnerships within the school system and the community, each day is an opportunity to tell the story of agriculture and its dynamic relationship with the environment."
In the Southern Nash High School agriculture department there is a poster on the wall that reads, "Hands-on, not hands off." Bartholomew believes that this quote sums up the teaching philosophy of this outstanding four-teacher program. Each teacher strives to involve every student so that they can fully understand the concepts being taught.
It is through hands-on learning; diverse curriculum and implementation of various learning methods that helps students understand what they are learning. Bartholomew states there is a Chinese proverb that best fits agricultural education that reads, "Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand." To allow for additional learning opportunities, Southern Nash has partnered with North Carolina State University and Nash Community College to establish the first Agriscience Academy in the state, allowing students to gain both high school and post-secondary credit.
Edward W. Wyatt Middle School
Instructor: Teresa Lindberg
Edward W. Wyatt's agricultural education teacher, Teresa Lindberg states, "I am constantly challenged and excited with the endless possibilities and opportunities that are obtainable for today's youth." It is through these opportunities that Lindberg is able to provide her students with countless rewards as a well-rounded education vital for a successful and productive future.
In a program that host a variety of students with different interest and needs, Lindberg' teaching involves a never-ending search for the most effective methods that will allow the diverse student population to understand and utilize the information presented in the classroom. By offering unique learning opportunities such as fun laboratory activities that incorporate, science, business management and natural resources, Lindbergh ensures that the learning experience and process is as exciting and innovating as possible.