INDIANAPOLIS – The second line of the National Association Agricultural Educators (NAAE) Creed states: “I believe in American agriculture; I dedicate my life to its development and the advancement of its people.” Thousands of agriculture teachers across the nation uphold this line of the creed every day in their line of work.
The NAAE Outstanding Agricultural Education Teacher Awards are designed to recognize a few of the most influential agriculture educators in the nation. Teachers who are NAAE members are invited to apply for this honor by submitting an online application and a personal narrative that covers their teaching philosophy, instructional methodologies, experiential learning experiences, students’ successes in organizations like the National FFA Organization, program partnerships and marketing and professional growth experiences. Letters of reference and supporting materials are also considered.
Applications are judged and one winner is selected per NAAE organizational region. This year’s winners were recognized on stage at the 90th National FFA Convention & Expo on Friday with an award. Winners also receive recognition in NAAE publications; travel, lodging and registration to the current year’s NAAE convention; and a plaque at the annual awards banquet.
This year’s winners are:
Region I: Tamara Whitcomb, Washington
Region II: Jonathan Holloway, Oklahoma
Region III: Russ Swanson, South Dakota
Region IV: Stephanie Jolliff, Ohio
Region V: Jason Bullock, North Carolina
Region VI: Teresa Lindberg, Virginia
When asked about her career, Region IV winner Stephanie Jolliff said, “There are dynamic changes going on constantly in our world, and I am glad that I have the opportunity to inspire kids to enter the workforce to influence those dynamic changes.”
The NAAE National Outstanding Agricultural Education Teacher Awards are sponsored by Caterpillar Inc. and Tractor Supply Company.
Katie Burns is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She works full time for the Illinois Association FFA as the communications specialist. Burns is serving as a reporter for the 90th National FFA Convention & Expo Newsroom Crew.