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Strom Thurmond Career Center Agriculture Teacher Selected for Educator Award

web posted December 1, 2011

ST LOUIS – Darla Steele, agricultural educator at Strom Thurmond Career Center (STCC) in Johnston, S.C., is one of 36 individuals nationwide who received the Teachers Turn the Key Award, given November 19 at the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) annual convention in St. Louis.
The Teachers Turn the Key Award program (TTTK) is a scholarship to allow early career agricultural educators to attend the annual NAAE convention, giving them an opportunity to become involved with their professional association on a national level.  TTTK participants take part in special programming geared toward agricultural educators in the early stages of their careers.
Steele has been part of the two-teacher agriculture program at STCC since 2009.  Johnston S.C. is a small rural community who shares great partnership with the agriculture program at STCC.  There are eight courses offered to the 160 students enrolled in the program.  Steele uses different teaching methods to reach this diverse group of students.  These include hands-on activities, lectures, audio, group assignments, research, and projects.  This past year the STCC program received funds from the Natural Resources and Conservation Services (NRCS) local district to enhance three outdoor classrooms, a wetlands lab, and wildlife trail.  
“Darla has a wonderful rapport with people of all ages, especially teenagers,” said Willie Green, Director, of Strom Thurmond Career Center.

Each of the TTTK winners received a plaque and a scholarship to cover convention registration, travel expenses, and housing during the NAAE convention in St. Louis. RAM Truck Brand sponsors the TTTK program as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.

NAAE is the professional association for agricultural educators.  The mission of NAAE is “professionals providing agricultural education for the global community through visionary leadership, advocacy, and service.”  The NAAE office is located in Lexington, Ky.

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