Local ag teacher nabs recognition

Javonne Mullins (right) receives the Outstanding Young Member Award from the National Association of Agricultural Educators.

Javonne Mullins of Mount Sterling is one of six individuals who received the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) Outstanding Young Member (OYM) Award at the NAAE annual conference.

“Educators must instruct to meet the needs of the students, schools and communities,” said Mullins, a teacher Fairfield High School. 

Teaching in a school where only 6 percent of students live on working farms, Mullins offers courses that might not be seen in a more traditionally agricultural area. Not only does she teach basic agriculture classes like animal science, natural resources and agricultural mechanics, she also offers courses in agri-cultural communications and leadership. Her students must participate in supervised agricultural experiences and become members of the FFA chapter.

Mullins has actively participated in professional development activities so she can bring the best information back to her students.  She has learned to incorporate new techniques into her curriculum that make learning fun for the students. For example, Mullins’ students learn about digestion by creating a digestive tract from Play-doh and food. Outside of the classroom, the students are involved in service learning through their FFA chapter.  They participate in community programs such as Adopt-a-Christmas Child and Safe Halloween.

“I enthusiastically motivate my students to achieve academic success, build self-esteem and allow them to know that each one of them is important in my classroom,” Mullins said. “Career development events, supervised agricultural experiences and other hands-on activities make learning fun, so that students are more inclined to look at learning as positive and participate in it throughout their lives.”

“Mullins touches students’ lives in the classroom, out of the classroom and into future years,” said Jeff and Lydia Duncan. “Mullins has the ability to encourage students to strive to their full potential. Her unselfish hours of involvement show in the lives of her students.”

Each of the six regional OYM winners received a plaque, cash award, expense paid trip to attend the annual NAAE conference, and an invitation to a reception held in their honor. John Deere sponsors the Outstanding Young Member Award as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. The NAAE office is located in Lexington, KY.

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