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ACTE Announces Minnesota Agricultural Teacher as National Award Finalis


September 13, 2016

Contact: Jarrod Nagurka 
jnagurka@acteonline.org, 703-683-9312 



ACTE Announces Minnesota Agricultural Teacher as National Award Finalist

ALEXANDRIA, VA—The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) announces T. J. Brown, agricultural teacher at Springfield Public Schools in Springfield, Minnesota, as the recipient of the 2016 Region III Carl Perkins Community Service Award. This award recognizes educators who have used career and technical education (CTE) to make a significant impact on a community/humanitarian cause through leadership in programs and activities that promote community involvement. This award was named in honor of the late Congressman Perkins, and is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated the same humanitarian concerns exemplified by Congressman Perkins.

T. J. Brown has been a middle and high school agricultural instructor and FFA advisor at Springfield Public Schools in Minnesota for 10 years. Under Brown’s leadership, the agricultural program has grown to offer over a dozen courses with a focus on science and business, and the FFA chapter has seen its membership skyrocket from 9 to 87 members to become the largest extracurricular group at the high school with nearly half the student body enrolled. The chapter has won several state and national awards, been named a gold-star chapter three years in a row, and raised thousands of dollars for scholarships through a new alumni chapter. Brown’s Super-Mileage team constantly produces vehicles that exceed 400 miles per gallon and has won the Best Designed Vehicle award.

Brown’s FFA chapter contributes to several community service initiatives year-round. They assist in annual maintenance of the Springfield Sportsman’s Club, a nonprofit organization designed to promote youth-shooting sports and conservation of natural resources which Brown spearheaded, and also sponsors farm safety activities for elementary school students. From 2013-2015, Brown and his students worked to raise $120,000 for a 30’ x 48’ state-of-the-art greenhouse and its equipment. Over 90% of the funds were raised through grants written by Brown or donated by community organizations. Brown’s construction class students and members of the FFA Alumni built the entire greenhouse and his Horticulture class landscaped the lot. Each year, students grow flowers for the FFA plant sale and vegetables for the Springfield Schools food service program and community food shelf. Pat Moriarty, High School Principal at Springfield Public Schools, says of Brown: “You would be hard-pressed to find another candidate that shares the same passion for community involvement and the betterment of people around him.”

Brown is one of four finalists for the 2017 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 30, during ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Awards Banquet is sponsored by Express Employment Professionals, the US Army, CareerSafe, Certiport, Stratasys, and International Baccalaureate. For more information about the ACTE Excellence Awards, visit our webpage.


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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