Agricultural educators from around the country gathered in Tulsa, Oklahoma from July 15-19, 2019 to develop and expand their expertise on inquiry-based teaching. Those 27 educators are now life-long advocates for the National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy.
The NATAA, sponsored by Corteva AgriScience, offers a competitive application process that selects some of the best agricultural educators in the United States. The rigorous course aims to inform teachers of the benefits of inquiry-based learning as well how to incorporate it into their classrooms, no matter the course. The hands-on approach of the academy helps to ease the teachers into the strategies that they later take back to other educators in workshops at the National FFA Convention and at the NAAE annual convention.
The rising demand for students with backgrounds in STEM education offers the opportunity for agriculture teachers to enhance the science aspect of agriculture courses. Utilizing this, the NATAA helps to provide teachers with the resources they need to enhance their students learning and possibilities.
Of these 27 educators, nine were returning ambassadors, acting as facilitators to train these new ambassadors and to design and develop activities that showcase the skills that the ambassadors were learning about. The 2019 NATAA was led by three agriscience ambassadors who work not only to promote agriscience in their own programs, but successfully across the country. The Lead Facilitators, Wes Crawford, JoAnn Pfeiffer and Rachel Knight, worked throughout the week to inspire, prepare and push these teachers to their greatest limits as they explored agriscience.
The 17th annual NATAA welcomed these teachers into a 407 strong list of ambassadors for agriscience and inquiry-based learning in classrooms. The participants are as follows:
Ashley Rogers, Nicholas County High School, Kentucky
Ashley Wehner, Switzerland County High School, Indiana
Becky Grabarski, Adams-Friendship, Wisconsin
Breanna Bregel, Kindred High School, North Dakota
Chad Warnick, Delta Technical Center, Utah
Daniella Hodges, Appomattox Middle School, Virginia
Jeff Holmes, Judith Gap Schools, Montana
Kelsey de Jong, Orosi High School, California
Lance Williamson, Ohatchee High School, Alabama
Mitch Coleman, Dayton High School, Oregon
Patricia Braddock, Simpson County Technical Center, Mississippi
Rachel Martinez, Salinas High School, California
Randi Krieg, Goldendale Middle and High Schools, Washington
RayeAnn Stamper, Pioneer Jr/Sr High School, Indiana
Sarah Molzhan, Thunder Ridge High School, Kansas
Stefanie Goblet, Millbrook High School, North Carolina
Stephanie Miller, Heartland Community Schools, Nebraska
Vay Jensen, Wind River High School, Wyoming
The facilitators for this years’ NATAA include:
David Black, Murray State University, Kentucky
JoAnn Pfeiffer, Federal Hocking Secondary School, Ohio
Kristin Witte, Shickley Public Schools, Nebraska
Mark Anderson, Elizabethtown Area High School, Pennsylvania
Nikki Doll, Center-Stanton High School, North Dakota
Rachel Knight, Centennial High School, New Mexico
Rachel Sauvola, New Richmond High School, Wisconsin
Troy Talford, Sauk Prairie School District, Wisconsin
Wes Crawford, Sutherlin High School, Oregon