KACTE names Rebecca French Outstanding New Career and Technical Teacher

Rebecca French: Outstanding New Career and Technical Teacher
Posted on 07/25/2016
Rebecca FrenchFrom the 2016 KACTE Final Program document:  http://www.kacteonline.org/cms-assets/documents/249304-6907.finalprogram.pdf

Meet Rebecca French, the KACTE Outstanding New Career and Technical Teacher of the Year. Rebecca is an agriculture educator and has finished her third year of teaching at Southwestern High School in Pulaski County.

Rebecca has adopted the following quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that describes her thoughts on education: “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character -- that is the goal of true education.”

Agriculture students at Southwestern received a Food for All Grant from National FFA and a Better Days Through Better Ways grant from the Kentucky FFA Foundation to raise 30 laying hens. The students then took the eggs and donated 3,000 eggs to over 600 families in the Somerset area through a food ministries program. In Rebecca French, second from right, is pictured with a group of Southwestern High School FFA members at the National FFA Convention and Expo in Louisville in October 2015. addition, Rebecca received a scholarship from NAAE to attend a CASE Plant workshop at the University of Kentucky that has assisted her in engaging students in inquiry-based learning.

Currently, French serves as the Scholarship Committee Secretary of KAAE (Kentucky Association of Agriculture Educators). She finds this work and her work with KDE to help revise the state standards in the Environmental and Natural Resource Pathway for agriculture a rewarding part of her professional development. Danita Ellis, principal of Southwestern High School, states that her passion for agriculture is evident, and she tries to instill that same passion into her students to make sure that they are college and career ready. Her involvement with professional organizations such as KAAE (Kentucky Association of Agriculture Educators) at such a young age highlights her passion for learning. Such confidence has led Rebecca into a leadership role of one of the TEDS coordinators at Southwestern.

Chris McDonald, co-worker, states that one of Rebecca’s most notable accomplishments was securing the Food For All and Better Days through Better Ways grants. With this grant money she purchased 30 laying hens, feed and other necessary supplies. Students work with the chickens on a daily basis, learning about proper care and management techniques. The students collect, wash and package the eggs so that they can be distributed to needy families through a local church food bank. Students are learning about animal care and working at the food bank for a community service project.
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