August 15, 2017
Santa Maria High School Agriculture Department has been selected as the National
Association of Agriculture Educators (NAAE) Outstanding Secondary School Agricultural
Education Program Award recipient for 2017.
The Agriculture Program has been awarded this honor due to excellence in
instructional strategies, experimental learning, teaching philosophies, the FFA student
organization, community partnership and the teachers’ professional development.
It has eight agriculture teachers who serve more than 1,000 students each day who are
enrolled in 39 sections of Agriculture courses.
Instructional courses offered range from the Agriculture Sciences to Veterinary Science
and from Agriculture Mechanics to Floral Design. Each course is specifically designed to
allow students to learn by doing and to make a connection to our local Agriculture
Industry through community partnerships.
Additionally, each student in the Agriculture Program is a member of the California and
National FFA Organization where the mission of the FFA is “making a positive
difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership,
personal growth and career success through agricultural education.” Within the
Agriculture Program, students have countless opportunities to attend leadership
development events and gain hands-on industry experiences, through their Supervised
Agriculture Experiences, classroom instruction and FFA Career Development Events.
According to the NAAE, “Outstanding Secondary Program Award goal is to promote
outstanding programs in agricultural education and effectively communicate success
stories. The Outstanding Middle/Secondary School Ag Ed Program Award promulgates
that goal. The 2017 Outstanding Middle/Secondary Agricultural Education program
award will be partially sponsored by Monsanto as a special project of the National FFA
To win this award, the Santa Maria Agriculture Program had to first be named the
South Coast Region Winner and then the California Agriculture Teacher Association
(CATA) Outstanding Secondary School Agricultural Education Program State Winner. It
was most recently named the NAAE Region 1 Outstanding Secondary School
Agricultural Education Program. Region 1 includes the states of Alaska, Arizona,
California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
The winning programs from Region 2-6 came from the states of Colorado, Minnesota,
Michigan Florida and New York.
The agriculture teachers including Luis Guerra, Marc DeBernardi, Clemente Ayon,
Melissa Flory, Mark Powell, Amanda Rodriguez, Shannon Powell and Sara Araujo, will
be recognized this December in Nashville, Tennessee at the 2017 NAAE Convention
and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) Career Tech Vision
The Saint Agriculture Department also was named CATA Outstanding Program in
California in 1988.
SMJUHSD Media Contact: Public Information Officer Kenny Klein
805 709-1454 or [email protected]
SMJUHSD Contact: Superintendent Dr. Mark Richardson
805 922-4573 ext. 4202 or [email protected]