Katelyn Titus, agriculture teacher at Galt High School, is one of only six individuals nationwide who received the National Association of Agricultural Educators Outstanding Early Career Teacher Award, presented at the 2018 NAAE annual convention in San Antonio, Texas on Nov. 28.
Taking inspiration from Nelson Mandela, Titus’ personal teaching philosophy revolves around the idea that, “Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.”
With about 60 percent of Galt High School’s students enrolled in the agriculture program, Titus and her co-teachers have the opportunity to help students realize their full potential while preparing them to change their community and lives in a positive way. Titus contributes to this goal by providing students with hands-on experiences, exposing them to different learning and leadership opportunities, and serving as a mentor and example to follow.
Titus is able to use agricultural topics as a foundation to teach her students skills they may utilize throughout their lifetime.
In her Soil Chemistry course, students work in teams and are tasked with collecting samples from across the county and compiling a map to represent the samples. Upon completion of this map, teams must present their findings to the rest of the class, helping students to not only learn about differences in soil, but also gain invaluable skills such as public speaking, confidence and teamwork.
Titus also holds an agriscience fair each year for her students, collaborating with the Agriculture English teacher to help students learn how to identify credible sources, use Microsoft Word, and write research papers using the APA format.
Under Titus’ direction, students may also take their learning outside of school through completing Supervised Agriculture Experiences (SAE). SAEs are hands-on projects designed to enhance the learning of agriculture students by providing them with real-life work and career experience.
Within Titus’ classes, students investigate possible agriculture careers that interest them and work to create an SAE project based on that specific career. Such projects can include raising market livestock, helping local florists create arrangements for customers, and helping design and landscape various local community centers.
Each of the 2018 NAAE Outstanding Early Career Teacher winners received special recognition at the NAAE convention. John Deere sponsors the Outstanding Early Career Teacher program as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.
NAAE is the professional organization in the United States for agricultural educators. It provides its more than 8,000 members with professional networking and development opportunities, professional liability coverage, and extensive awards and recognition programs. The mission of NAAE is “professionals providing agricultural education for the global community through visionary leadership, advocacy and service.” The NAAE headquarters are in Lexington, Ky.