At the 2013 NAAE Convention in Las Vegas, members elected a president, president-elect, two new regional vice-presidents and two new secretaries. See below for a picture of all the leadership and bios for each of the newly elected board members.
Front row, l-r; Nick Nelson, OR, Region I VP; James Cannon, AR, Region II VP; Terry Reickman, SD, Region III VP; Kevin Stacy, OK, President; Charlie Sappington, IL, President-Elect; Scott Stone, MO, Region IV VP; Daryl Behel, AL, Region V VP; Krista Pontius, PA, Region VI VP
Back row, l-r: Chad Massar, MT, Region I Secretary; Hals Beard, LA, Region II Secretary; Glenda Crook, WI, Region III Secretary; Parker Bane, IL, Region IV Secretary; Jason Kemp, TN, Region V Secretary; Deb Seibert, PA, Region VI Secretary
2013-14 President - Kevin Stacy
After teaching high school agriculture for 25 years, Kevin accepted the position as superintendent of Oklahoma Union Public Schools earlier this year. Even though he is no longer in the agriculture classroom on a daily basis, Kevin's heart still lies with agricultural education.
"The best part of my new job is that I get to advocate for agriculture in a new area," he said. "I get to talk about my leadership experiences in agriculture and NAAE and how that prepared me for the responsibilities I have today. I am also involved in local and community initiatives and serve on numerous boards. I still am and will always be involved in promoting agricultural education."
As president, Kevin will help set the direction for agricultural education on a national scale during the next year, in addition to providing leadership for NAAE's nearly 8,000 members. During his year as president, he aims to build on relationships with other organizations that value agriculture and agricultural education, finalize the implementation of the new strategic plan, and give voice to the message that agricultural education and work in the agriculture industry are worthy careers.
"At the NAAE national conference, I used a salsa recipe to illustrate what makes NAAE strong," said Kevin. "By itself, each salsa ingredient is very different, but you need them all, and they all must be good quality to produce a good salsa. NAAE works closely with teacher educators, the National FFA Organization and National FFA Foundation, agricultural education state staff, agriculture business and industry, and postsecondary institutions to advance agricultural education. If we fail to take advantage of the unique flavor of each partner, the final result will be weak. NAAE is a strong organization that continues to expand its role in advancing agricultural education with the help of our many partners."
Kevin credits his wife Cathy with being supportive and understanding of the long hours it takes to do his job effectively, and is proud of his two children, Blane and Cassey. Cassey is a second grade teacher at Adair Public schools in Adair, Okla. Blane has a degree in Range Ecology and is becoming a pretty good saddle bronc rider. Both were active in agricultural education and FFA. In his limited spare time, Kevin raises club calves and cheers on the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
2013-14 President-Elect - Charles Sappington
Currently an agriculture teacher at Cumberland High School in Toledo, Ill., Charlie was elected as the 2013-2014 president-elect. As president-elect, he will work with the NAAE board and staff to make the initiatives and assets of the organization more readily available to members. He also plans to spend the year working with NAAE's standing committees to help them become more functional, helping them have a greater impact on the organization. Both tasks will help NAAE continue to meet its grassroots mission of being the voice for agricultural educators on a national level.
"NAAE has no equal as far as an organization that helps its members work toward a common goal," said Charlie. "No other organization can come close to making its members feel like they belong to a family and provide them with resources that help them achieve their day-to-day goals."
Charlie has taught agricultural education for 30 years, and has been a NAAE member since his very first year in the classroom. He has served in multiple leadership roles both within the Illinois Association of Vocational Agriculture Teachers and NAAE. He has also been recognized multiple times for his outstanding teaching, receiving the NAAE Region IV Teacher Mentor award in 2006 and the Illinois Outstanding Agriculture Teacher award this year.
Charlie lives on the farm where he was born and raised with his wife of 26 years, who is also a teacher. They have two sons, one who also teaches agriculture, and one who is a student at Eastern Illinois University. In addition to teaching, He and his wife raise purebred Shropshire sheep, Nubian goats, llamas, corn, soybeans and alfalfa on their farm.
Region I Vice President - Nick Nelson
Nick is an instructor at Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Ore., Like all regional vice presidents, Nick's tenure as regional vice president will last for three years, during which time he will be responsible for guiding the association's activities in his 11-state region.
Nick has been teaching agriculture for 11 years, beginning as a high school agriculture teacher, and later at Blue Mountain Community college, where he has taught for the past seven years. He has received much recognition for his leadership in agricultural education, and most recently his program at BMCC was named the NAAE Outstanding Postsecondary/Adult Agricultural Education Program for Region I. Nick has also been active in leadership for agricultural education, serving in multiple roles including president of the Oregon Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association.
During his time as Region I Vice President, Nick plans to improve communication to the outlying states in Region I - Alaska and Hawaii - and help agriculture teachers in those states become more involved in NAAE. He also plans to improve agriculture teacher recruitment and retention efforts in the western states and increase overall NAAE membership in Region I.
"There is no question in my mind that the members of NAAE are a very cohesive family that is unlike any other teacher association," said Nick. "The focus of NAAE is for agriculture instruction, but it is also such a tremendous support group."
In addition to teaching at BMCC, Nick and his wife, Chrissy, have two children who are already active in agriculture, sports and the community. They also raise and sell Red Angus bulls.
Region VI Vice President - Krista Pontius
As the newly elected Vice President for Region VI, Krista will be responsible for 14 states. She has been teaching agriculture for 17 years, and has been recognized multiple times for her leadership both in the classroom and in the profession of agricultural education. She was selected as NAAE Region VI Teacher Mentor, as Pennsylvania Outstanding Agriculture Teacher, was recognized for having the Outstanding Agricultural Education program in Pennsylvania, and just this year was selected for the WGAL Teacher Impact Award.
Although she appreciates the recognition, Krista uses another scale to measure her success. "My greatest rewards as an educator happen each and every day through my students," she said. "I love to see the light-bulb moments which reinforce learning and inspire further curiosity."
"I have always been active in NAAE because I believe in the power of a grassroots organization to provide legislative advocacy, professional development, and networking opportunities to its members," said Krista. During her tenure as Region VI Vice President, she plans to work with each state affiliate to make sure they have a new teacher mentoring program in place, continue to promote teaching agriculture as a career opportunity, and increase the membership in her region.
In addition to teaching agriculture, Krista and her husband operate Cocolamus Farm, where they raise Holstein cattle and crops.