"Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile." -Vince Lombardi
I hope everyone has had an enjoyable summer re-charging and remembering their purpose inside and outside the classroom. My summer has been busy serving you as the Region I VP in my last few months of this term. I started my summer by attending the OVATA summer conference in beautiful Joseph, Oregon; the networking and professional development was a great kick off to my summer. I then participated in my own state summer update in Spokane and spoke on behalf of NAAE and why choosing to step up to a leadership position is such a rewarding opportunity, whether on the local level, committee, or within your own professional association. As the summer progressed, we took a family vacation to the lake; it is so important to take time for family, friends, and yourself. The middle of July I flew to Green Bay, Wisconsin for our summer board meeting where we worked on committee items, the re-structuring of the strategic plan, and planning for the NAAE conference in Las Vegas. Along with our summer board meeting the board I had the pleasure of networking and spending time with FFA Alumni members from all over the United States who have a strong passion for agricultural education and FFA programs. Then it was on to Nevada for their summer conference in Reno and Carson City. It was a pleasure to take part in their professional development tours (Nevada's Dept. of Agriculture and Community Garden Project) and sit in on the NVATA meetings. My past three years have been amazing and it truly has been a blessing to serve on the NAAE board, represent Region I, and grow as a professional through agricultural education.
These opportunities can start anytime for you too; do not be afraid to set a goal, communicate with professionals in your state, region, and on the national level, and ask questions. This amazing journey started 12 years ago with the support of my principal, becoming educated about NAAE, being selected as a Teacher Turn the Key recipient, and has continued to grow through committee involvement, state leadership positions, and setting my best foot forward. I feel it is vital to challenge ourselves, just like we do our students in the classroom; we must lead by example. My journey continued with the NAAE by serving as the Region I Secretary for three years, then running for the Vice Chair position in 2010 against three of my fellow NAAE members. In running I created a resume to share with my states within my region, gained the support of my school affiliates, and lastly the backing of my husband in my quest for this position.
I hope that you will consider what you could bring to your local, state, and national organizations; everyone has something to share and we can only get better with innovative input, ideas, and leadership abilities from YOU!!
Region I VP