Help Build the House Upon the Rock!
There was an old sow with three little pigs, and as she had not enough room to keep them, she sent them out to seek their fortune. The first that went off met a man with a bundle of straw and said to him, "Please, man, give me that straw to build me a house." The man did, and the little pig built a house with it. The wolf quickly blew the house down.
The second little pig met a man with a bundle of sticks and said, "Please, man, give me that stick to build a house." The man did, and the pig built his house. The wolf quickly blew the house down.
The third little pig met a man with a load of rocks and said, "Please, man, give me those rocks to build a house with." So the man gave him the rocks, and he built his house with them.
The wolf huffed, and he puffed, and he huffed and he puffed, and he puffed and huffed, but he could not get the house down.
I am sure each of you are familiar with James Orchard Halliwell-Phillips' childhood fable of the three pigs. If we were to read the rest of the story, we would discover the pig eventually outsmarts the wolf and eats him for dinner.
Fellow NAAE members, at this year's National Association of Agricultural Educators' Conference, you will be given the opportunity to select who will join our national leadership team as President-Elect. I am humbly asking that you choose to build the future of our association on the rock and select me, Scott Stone.
As we look at my past record, I hope you will see a bright future.
I was born and raised on a dairy farm in central Pennsylvania, where I learned the value of hard work and dedication. After high school, I served the Pennsylvania FFA Association as the Chaplain, while I was pursuing a degree in agricultural education from Penn State University. Following my term of service, I transferred to the University of Missouri, where I received my BS and Master's degrees in Agricultural Education.
In January of 1998, I began teaching at Centralia High School in Centralia, MO, where I still teach today. In 1999, I married my lovely bride, Jeannette, who is a special education instructor at Centralia High School. We have three wonderful children, Zane, 13; Annamaire, 11; and Stetson, 6. Our family resides on our small diversified livestock and hay operation north of Centralia.
Over my 18 years in the classroom, I have been blessed with many opportunities to serve at the local, area, district, and state level. I had the opportunity to serve as secretary, president-elect, and president of the Missouri Vocational Agriculture Teachers' Association. My service allowed me to develop and hone my leadership and communication skills, which will be vital to my continued service to the NAAE. During my tenure at Centralia, I have also had the opportunity to step outside the agricultural education arena and serve on the state board of directors of the Missouri State Teachers' Association (MSTA). This very enriching experience demonstrated to me the unique bond and mission we share as agriculture teachers that is not always enjoyed in other subject areas.
My peers have selected me as the recipient of numerous awards, including Centralia High School Teacher of the Year, Northeast MSTA Teacher of the Year, MO Vocational Agriculture Teacher of the Year, and Region IV NAAE Teacher Mentor. Of all my plaques and awards, I am most proud of being selected to serve as a cooperating teacher for five student teachers and as a mentor for 12 first and second year agriculture instructors.
During my teaching career, I have learned that fads and trends will come and go in education. New administrators, senators, representatives, governors and national legislators help to swing the education pendulum from side to side on a regular basis. With that thought in mind, the challenges we will face in agricultural education will most likely change over the next two years, on the national level, and each state will have the opportunity to meet its individual demands head-on.
Therefore, the basic fundamentals of my service will be LEADERSHIP, PRIDE, and EXCELLENCE. If our organization will focus on developing teachers as leaders in our profession at the local, state, and national level, we will be equipped to deal with every situation that arises, from funding issues to statewide teacher assessments. If each of us, in agricultural education, has a deep-rooted pride in our profession, we will advocate for our students, programs, and the three-circle model. This pride will become contagious and, in turn, we will not have a shortage of qualified agriculture teachers. Finally, if we demand excellence of ourselves and our students in everything we do, the test scores, contract lengths, and teacher evaluations will take care of themselves.
In conclusion, I would like to thank you for carefully considering my qualifications to serve as your president-elect. I feel my experiences in and out of the classroom have prepared me to effectively serve our organization in this capacity. My focus will be on leadership, pride, and excellence in our profession. As you cast your vote for the next member of the NAAE leadership team, I would ask you to help build a rock-solid foundation for our organization and vote for Scott Stone.
Thank you for your time and have a great school year.
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