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Teacher from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin named national ACTE award finalist


September 12, 2014

ALEXANDRIA, VA-The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) announces Larry Plapp, an agriculture sciences instructor at Badger High School in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, as the 2014 ACTE Region III Teacher of the Year. The ACTE Teacher of the Year award, sponsored by Express Employment Professionals, recognizes the finest career and technical teachers at the secondary school level who have demonstrated innovation in the classroom, commitment to their students and dedication to the improvement of CTE in their institutions and communities.

Before Larry Plapp began teaching Agriculture Sciences Badger High School (BHS) in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, in 1992, the program was nearly cut due to a lack of student interest. Since Plapp's arrival, the program is now considered a model for a "contemporary" agriculture curriculum. Plapp's students participate in a wide variety of cutting-edge scientific learning experiences, including cloning plants through tissue culture, conducting an electrophoresis lab to extract DNA and using electronic instrumentation to record water chemistry effects on the lives of fish. His greenhouse management students operate two 4,500 square foot greenhouses, which grossed more than $35,000 in plant sales in 2012. As the BHS FFA advisor, Plapp has coached the 100-strong school team to state titles, national placements and a 3-star rating three years in a row.

Plapp was integral in the development of a community garden on school grounds and establishing a biofuel initiative that may one day help power the lawnmowers at the school. With his involvement, the Agricultural Education Department received a substantial grant for vertical farming, from which the tomatoes and lettuce grown are used in the school lunch program. Through Plapp's efforts, the school's Agricultural Education Department developed all seven of the Agriculture Career Pathways as identified by the Career Clusters.® Because of those efforts, four of the agriculture classes will receive transcripted credit with Gateway Technical College. "He is constantly on the cutting edge of agriculture, changing and developing an already amazing program," Principal Robert Kopydlowski says of Plapp. "He is truly one of the most dynamic teachers I have ever witnessed."  

Plapp is one of five finalists for the 2015 national title. The national winner will be announced at the ACTE Awards Banquet, a dinner and award presentation recognizing the best CTE educators in the country. The event will take place on Wednesday evening, November 19, during ACTE's CareerTech VISION 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Awards Banquet is sponsored by Kuder, Certiport, and Stratasys. For more information about the ACTE Excellence Awards, visit our website.  

About ACTE

The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is the nation's largest not-for-profit association committed to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. ACTE represents the community of CTE professionals, including educators, administrators, researchers, guidance counselors and others at all levels of education. ACTE is committed to excellence in providing advocacy, public awareness and access to resources, professional development and leadership opportunities.

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ACTE is committed to enhancing the job performance and satisfaction of its members; to increasing public awareness and appreciation for career and technical programs; and to assuring growth in local, state and federal funding for these programs by communicating and working with legislators and government leaders.



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