Outstanding Service Awards

It is those that go above and beyond the call of duty that impact our lives the most. Those can be doctors, nurses, your best friend … your teacher. The agricultural education profession provides numerous opportunities for teacher educators to further their professional development and keep up with the times. The NAAE Outstanding Service Citation Award is given to those who serve their profession in professional activities, school activities, and community service.

Region I Dennis Wallace, WA
Region II Don Armes, OK
Region III Dr. Mark Zidon, WI
Region IV Rusty Black, MO
Region V Gary Bartley, FL
Region VI Terry Hughes, NY

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Region II
Dennis Wallace
Retired Career and Technical Education Director
Olympia, Washington

Wallace was the agriculture teach at Yelm high School for 26 years .  When Wallace began teaching he was the only full time teacher with an occasional aid that would come in to help with the classroom as needed.  During his 26 years as an educator and his 2 years at CTE director he helped evolve the program into a seven teacher program and develop curriculum from just general agriculture and agricultural mechanics to a leading Agri-Science department with 21 different pathways for students to choose from.  Wallace made sure to work with all other departments at Yelm High School to help students earn credit where course material was equivalent to one another.  This helped to stay on the cutting edge of where state education standards were and make sure students were retaining material taught. 

Wallace sees professional development as a way for educators to build confidence and capability within their classrooms.  Due to this opinion teacher were always encouraged to participate in professional development activities.  “Living to Serve,” has been and always will be a motto for Wallace, his professional involvement was extensive.  He was a member and held a form of leadership position for the Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators (WAAE), National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE), Wisconsin Association of Career and Technical Educators (WI-ACTE), National Association of Career and Technical Educators (ACTE) and many more.

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Region II
Don Armes
Oklahoma House of Representatives
Faxon, Oklahoma

Larry Long

Armes was elected to serve as an Oklahoma Legislator for District 63, which represents Comanche and Tillman counties, in 2002.  Each day Armes oversees legislation that both directly and indirectly benefits FFA and agricultural education.  Armes was an instrumental part of working to raise an incentive payment for agriculture instructors and their programs.  He was able to take the initial amount of incentive funds from $5,600 up to $13,300.

Armes’s avid support of FFA and Agricultural Education is derived from his 13 years as an agriculture teacher at Eldorado High School and Lawton High School, both in Oklahoma.  Armes decided he would like to try a career outside of the classroom and became an auctioneer and broadcaster.  He worked with many FFA members and agricultural education programs conducting interviews for television and radio broadcast, as well as auctioneering many fundraising events.  His skill set has also been beneficial for his involvement in the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, National Rifle Association, and Ducks Unlimited.

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Region III
Dr. Mark Zidon
University of Wisconsin-Platteville
Platteville, Wisconsin

Richard Aide

Zidon’s influence has been vital to agricultural education in Wisconsin for many years.  His help first began in the 1980’s when Zidon taught himself basic computer programming skills and created several programsm including one to tabulate FFA skill contest results.  This breakthrough technology helped lead to his current 21-year position as superintendent of Wisconsin FFA Career Development Events (CDE) in Southwest Wisconsin, at The University of Wisconsin-Platteville.   Zidon has also served the National FFA Organization for 26 years by being a member of the committee for the National Agricultural Mechanics CDE.  His primary tasks are to oversee the environment and power sections.  Zidon has judged and tabulated countless CDE’s and Skills Contests during his professional career.  He has also served the American Association for Agricultural Educators (AAAE) for 20 years by reviewing research articles submitted for their publication, Journal of Agricultural Education.

Zidon has not only been an important person to Wisconsin FFA and agricultural education, he also has been a vital part of Wisconsin’s dairy industry by being superintendent of the entire World Dairy Expo (WDE), held annually in Madison.  In the past 21 years the WDE has grown from 300 participating students to 800.  Zidon has helped the event evolve with the technological times; originally all registration was sent in through mail, events were scored by hand, and results were mailed out.  After Zidon took charge, registration is online, and results from the WDE are now tallied by computer and placed online.

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Region IV
Rusty Black
Grand River Tech School
Chillicothe, Missouri

Black is the agriculture teacher at Grand River Tech School and has been teaching for 27 years.  In that time he has served in a variety of organizations, such as the Missouri Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association (MVATA) and Missouri Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), to organize legislative efforts, stay updated on current issues and inform members when action is needed.  It is Black’s belief to help communicate on behalf of agricultural educators to ensure only beneficial changes are implemented into Missouri agricultural education programs. 

Black is also the FFA Advisor to the 270 member FFA chapter at Grand River Tech School.  Black has built a strong FFA chapter, whose success is known around the state of Missouri.  Black has been awarded the Honorary Missouri State FFA Degree as well as the Honorary American FFA Degree for his continual efforts to keep agricultural education significant to Missouri education. 

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Region V
Gary Bartley
Florida FFA Foundation, Inc.
Haines City, Florida

Bartley has been the Florida FFA Foundation Executive Director since 1979.  To the position he brought experience as a previous Florida agriculture teacher and Executive Secretary of the Florida FFA Association.  Bartley is responsible for establishing and implementing the Program of Work for the Florida FFA Foundation, which has raised over 4.3 million dollars for awards and services for Florida FFA members.  He has also been instrumental in helping raise 12 million dollars for the development, construction, renovations and management of the Florida Leadership Training Center (LTC). The LTC is home to Florida FFA leadership conference, where attending FFA members enjoy, home-cooked meals and outdoor activities, such canoeing and a ropes course.  Most recently, Bartley has started a Florida FFA Hall of Fame recognition program to recognize those individuals who help enhance Florida FFA chapters.   

For the past 35 years Bartley has served in leadership positions in the Florida Vocational Association/ Florida Vocational Agricultural Teachers’ Association, Florida Association of Agricultural Educators, and Florida FFA Alumni Association.  Bartley has been recognized countless times by Florida FFA members, receiving numerous Honorary Chapter FFA Degrees, the Honorary State FFA Degree, the Honorary American FFA Degree, and the Blue and Gold Award from the Florida FFA Association.  Other organizations such as the National Rifle Association and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement have recognized Bartley’s tireless efforts to enhance Florida agricultural education and FFA.  Bartley’s mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of young people by supporting agricultural education programs.

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Region VI
Terry Hughes
State University of New York
Cobleskill, New York

Hughes has been actively involved in agricultural education for the past 35 years.  He currently serves as the Mohawk Valley Career Pathways Coordinator, working with Perkins funding to ensure monies are dispersed to programs in Mohawk Valley and educating teachers on how to obtain funds for their own programs.   Hughes also conducts leadership workshops and presentations about the importance of agriculture and agricultural education to schools throughout the state and the New York Association of Career and Technical Education (NYACTE). It is important to Hughes to serve agricultural educators on all levels. Hughes even volunteers his time in local programs in the Cobleskill and surrounding communities whenever any help is needed.  This past year he was the only person willing to fulfill the duties of the FFA Exhibits Superintendent at the New York State Fair. 

Hughes has received countless honors and awards for his service to New York agricultural education, including the Honorary State and American FFA Degrees.  He has served on the board of many agricultural education organizations in the state and nation, including National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE).  It is important to Hughes to be involved in such organizations as they allow him the opportunity to help enhance agricultural education, a field he has spent over three decades serving.

“Terry Hughes was my reason for becoming active in both New York Association of Agricultural Educators (NYAAE) and NAAE and I continue to draw strength from his wisdom and skill,” said Tara Berescik, Hughes’ colleague and agriculture teacher at nearby Tri Valley Central School. 

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