IRMO, SC- Jessica Jones, Agricultural educator at The Center for Advanced Technical Studies (The Center), was selected as part of a group of agriculture teachers nationwide for the 2016 Teachers Turn the Key (TTTK) professional development scholarship from the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE). As a scholarship recipient, Jones attended the NAAE annual convention in Las Vegas on November 29 through December 3. Jones teaches Veterinary Science and Technology Pathway for The Center’s agriculture program.
“It is such an honor to be a recipient of the 2016 Teachers Turn the Key professional development scholarship. I teach because I love veterinary science and I am passionate about igniting my students’ interest in this field,” Jones said. “Animals are an integral part of our society, so it is important that I create lessons that emphasize concepts and skills that are meaningful in the animal industries, but also develop students into responsible pet owners and animal caretakers.”
Jones has been an agriculture teacher at The Center for three years. Students in Jones’ classes learn to analyze nutrients in feed, equine grooming and handling, and veterinary safety and sanitation techniques. In addition to in-class activities, Jones has worked with local partners to place students in jobs and internships with veterinary clinics, animal shelters and horse farms. Because of the overlap in course content areas, not only do Jones’ students compete in FFA events, but also in events hosted by the Health Occupations Students of America.
The Teachers Turn the Key scholarship brings together agricultural educators with four or fewer years of experience and immerses them in three days of professional development that addresses issues specific to the early years of teaching agriculture. Participants also have the opportunity to become involved in NAAE leadership and network with other NAAE convention attendees. TTTK awardees come away from the experience with a long-lasting peer cohort and tools that will help them have successful careers as agricultural educators.
The Center for Advanced Technical Studies Director Dr. Bob Couch offered his thoughts about Jones’ selection for the scholarship. “Mrs. Jones is such a tremendous teacher, coach and mentor. She puts her students first in everything she does and she truly cares about all her students and gives 100% to make them successful in school and in life. We are so proud of her for being a recipient of the 2016 Teachers Turn the Key professional development scholarship.”
Photo caption: Nathan Scott representing RAM Trucks and NAAE President Terry Rieckman present The Center's Jessica Jones with the 2016 Teachers Turn the Key professional development scholarship award.