This is an article from the October 2017 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.
As much as we would like to see every agriculture teacher stay in the classroom until they retire after a lengthy and fulfilling career, for many, a career change often leads to greater opportunity within agricultural education. So is the case for Matt Chaliff, Agricultural Education Program Consultant and FFA Executive Secretary for the state of Kentucky.
Chaliff was an agriculture teacher in Kentucky, at Taylor County High School for four years, where he saw great program success. However, in 2004 another door opened for Chaliff to develop his full potential as a leader in agricultural education for the state. His accomplishments at the Kentucky Department of Education are the reason he was selected as the 2016 NAAE Region IV Outstanding Service Citation award recipient.
During his tenure in the Office of Career and Technical Education, Chaliff has led the expansion of new SAE resources for teachers, redesign of Kentucky's Principles of Agriculture course, and the development of agribusiness career pathway standards.
Chaliff also values the importance of professional development for Kentucky agriculture teachers. Each year, he coordinates the summer teachers’ conference and winter professional development session. He also teaches a workshop for new agriculture teachers and has been heavily involved in the recent development of the Kentucky Master Agriculture Teacher Program. This program is designed to help agriculture teachers in their fifth to fifteenth years as they grow professionally.
Although Chaliff could have stayed in the classroom, the agriculture teachers in Kentucky are certainly thankful for his willingness to shift careers. Without his leadership within the state, agricultural education would not have grown by the leaps and bounds that it has, which is a benefit for both agriculture teachers and students in Kentucky.
NAAE recognizes current and retired NAAE members who have made significant contributions to agricultural education at the state, regional, and national levels with the Outstanding Service Citation. This program is sponsored by Goodheart-Wilcox. For more information about the Outstanding Service Citation award and to see the other regional winners, follow this link.
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