CROGHAN — Agricultural education is continually faced with a shortage of qualified teachers. Unless those who have been trained enter and remain in the profession, the shortage of qualified teachers will continue. As a means of encouraging young teachers to remain in the profession and to encourage and recognize participation in professional activities, the National Association of Agricultural Educators, NAAE, offers the Teachers Turn the Key Scholarship for second, third or fourth year teachers. Rayne Ives of Remsen Central School has been named the 2021 New York Teachers Turn the Key Scholarship Recipient.
As an early career teacher, dedicated to restarting, rebranding and rebuilding her high school’s agricultural education program, Ives is committed to providing unique and new opportunities to her students. As a graduate of Remsen in 2011 when the school no longer had Agricultural Education, Ives was hired with the mission of restarting the program. Since then, the program has quickly grown and now averages around 115 students enrolled in a variety of agricultural classes who are also active FFA members.
Ives believes that educators must recognize and meet the needs of their students at the present moment and for their future. Ives says, “Our students have needs in so many facets of their lives, from their home life, to mental health and learning and academic needs, we need to recognize them and find creative ways to meet them,” she goes on to say, “Classroom environment is key for creating a program that makes students feel welcome and safe, and that is one thing I strive for every day.”
“I have been fortunate enough to watch Mrs. Ives grow as an educator and contribute to the betterment of our school for the past four years. However, the skills she has displayed that I admire the most are intrinsic; her positive attitude, her desire to constantly improve, and her love for her craft and her students.” said Daniel O’Bryan, Remsen Junior-Senior High School Principal.
“As I have pursued multiple advanced graduate degrees, I have taught in a variety of settings from summer programs, to secondary schools, to graduate courses, and I fully appreciate that teachers with Rayne’s unique skills come along quite rarely.”
Ives will now travel to the National Association of Agricultural Education Conference in New Orleans, La., to receive individualized professional development for early career teachers.
NAAE is the professional organization in the United States for agricultural educators, with NYAAE being a state affiliate. NAAE provides its more than 8,000 members with professional networking and development opportunities, professional liability coverage, and extensive awards and recognition programs. The mission of NAAE is “professionals providing agricultural education for the global community through visionary leadership, advocacy and service.”