This is an article from the January 2018 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link
2017 NAAE Region VI National Agriscience Teacher of the Year Award Winner
Big Spring High School
For SaraBeth Fulton, agriculture teacher at Big Spring High School, in Newville, Pennsylvania, her program takes the appealing, interactive curriculum of agriculture a step further by offering additional certifications and credits in science.
The agriculture program at Big Spring High School currently offers 17 different courses to over 240 students. The course offerings are organized into three career pathways, which involve five out of the 10 competencies offered by the school. From there, five of the courses fulfill science credits and high school graduation requirements, two courses offer dual-credits through the local community college, there are two CASE courses offered, along with one AP College Board course, and the program also offers five different industry certifications.
With that many different opportunities for students to achieve and receive multiple recognitions and credits, it is no wonder the agriculture program’s class request list has over 600 students.
During her tenure at Big Spring High School, Fulton has made it a priority to enhance the science of agriculture in the program’s curriculum.
“Over the past 13 years, I have continually updated materials and added new laboratory experiences to all of my courses,” said Fulton. “In connecting with the national Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (AFNR) standards, I have incorporated science-based laboratories in all of my classes in order to expand and relate previous knowledge taught in the science department to real-world applications.”
Through her hard work, Fulton has been able to establish a great relationship between Big Spring and the Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC), so that her students are able to receive dual-credits in horticulture. Big Spring’s agriculture program was the first in Pennsylvania to offer a dual-credit course in conjunction with HACC, and has since served as a resource and stepping stone for other programs in the state to follow.
Fulton not only sees the importance and value of enhancing the science in agriculture, but also the importance and value of providing her students with the opportunities and resources to enhance the efficiency of their high school educational experiences. As agriculture teachers, offering those extra benefits are excellent ways to market our programs and show the value of agricultural education.
SaraBeth Fulton is the 2017 NAAE Region VI National Agriscience Teacher of the Year award recipient. This award category is sponsored by Herman and Bobbie Wilson as a special project of the Natioinal FFA Foundation. For more information about the National Agriscience Teacher of the Year award category and to see the rest of the 2017 recipients, follow this link.
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