I first want to start by saying thank you. I am blessed beyond belief to have this opportunity to represent you and work on behalf of NAAE. I must say, we as an organization are blessed to have an outstanding staff who works tirelessly on our behalf. Their innovative and creative ideas have kept NAAE moving forward over the last several years. We are also blessed to have an awesome and dedicated board of directors who volunteer their time to work for our organization and communicate with state leaders and members on a regular basis. I am looking forward to working with these outstanding leaders this next year.
I would like to thank everyone who was involved with the 2012 NAAE Convention in Atlanta. We had fantastic professional development, great networking opportunities and efficiently handled business. We truly had the opportunity to rise with rigor and relevance at our convention. I attended several awesome workshops and have already integrated a few of the things I learned into my curriculum at school. I know our convention would not be possible without our organizational members, business partners and convention sponsors. Thank you for your commitment to NAAE and to agricultural education. Without the support of these partners, we would not be able to offer the outstanding convention to our members. I would like to thank Ken Couture for his leadership, vision and guidance he has provided not only for our board of directors but for NAAE and agricultural education.
With the holiday season, I have spent a lot of time counting my blessings and reflecting on a lot of decisions for the new year. No matter your religious beliefs, I hope you have had the opportunity for rest, relaxation and to spend time with the ones you love. I do not wish to dwell on the tragic events that have taken place in our country recently, but I do know that many are hurting and I hope for healing hearts and some sort of peaceful closure for everyone.
Many feel that 13 is an unlucky number, and so for some moving into 2013 may leave a sense of dread or uncertainly. Personally, 13 has always been my lucky number. Not only was I born on Friday the 13th (which to some of you reading this may think that explains a lot!) but I won my first FFA contest when I was 13 and my brother was born when I was 13. Instead of looking into 2013 with a gloomy outlook, I can only hope that you, like me, are excited about the opportunities to come. I know we have a lot questions that are not answered whether about funding, standards, testing or Common Core.
Here is what I know- Agricultural Educators are creative, innovative, resourceful, crafty and have a phenomenal network of helping others in our field. Do we have all the answers? No, but I believe as a profession we are working together and must continue to move forward. Rigor, relevance, and common core must be a part of the vocabulary for agricultural education. I truly believe we have the opportunity to help provide the relevance to the math and science standards our students are struggling to master. We must speak the language of our "Academic" peers and help our students. I know that our curriculum is vastly different across our country and that many of you have honor classes and classes that count as math or science credit. I also know that as we have students of all ranges and capacities we must help them all grasp concepts and make those connections.
If you feel that this is something you already do well in your program, then I ask you to help the rest of us by posting your ideas and lessons in Communities of Practice. If you are struggling with something, I hope you take advantage of Communities of Practice and look or ask for help. One of the things I love about COP is that EVERYONE can be involved! Although I often look on COP for new ideas or keep up with a few of our bloggers, one of my new year's resolutions is to better utilize this great tool and do a better job of contributing back to COP. I would love if you join me as well!
I hope everyone has a great and wonderful new year! I am looking forward to this amazing opportunity and I want you to know that I will do everything I can to help NAAE and Agricultural Education grow and prosper in 2013!