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ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®

ACTE Announces Mississippi Intro to Agriscience Instructor as National Award Finalist

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Lett HeadshotFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
September 25, 2017 

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


ACTE Announces Mississippi Intro to Agriscience Instructor as National Award Finalist

ALEXANDRIA, VA—Today, the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) announced Mary Helen Lett, Agriscience Instructor at Forrest County Agricultural High School in Brooklyn, Mississippi, as the 2017 ACTE Region IV New Teacher of The Year. This award recognizes new CTE teachers who have made significant contributions toward innovative and unique career and technical education programs and shown a professional commitment early in their careers. 

Mary Helen Lett has taught Introduction to Agriscience for the past three years to 9th grade students at Forrest County Agricultural High School (FCAHS) in Brooklyn, Mississippi. The school is unique as it is located on a 320-acre working farm where students have the opportunity to care for cattle, horses, goats, sheep, and swine. Lett not only leads the instruction of these fields by routinely incorporating technology into various lessons designed around the hands-on work of maintaining the farm, but she lives on campus in order to take care of the livestock and grounds year-round. In addition to her teaching duties, Lett works with elementary students from the local community to instruct them in proper techniques to care for various 4-H show animals as they prepare for competitions and events. She is co-advisor for the Brooklyn FFA, where she has led 110 members in her chapter to advance to competitions at the district, state, and national levels.

Lett works closely with other agricultural education programs in the school to provide career guidance to her students who express an interest in building upon the foundation they receive in her classes. Through partnerships with local community colleges and state universities, she has successfully exposed students to a variety of postsecondary education options. She regularly invites guest speakers from across Mississippi and surrounding states to visit with her students, constantly seeking to expose her students to the diverse opportunities within the field of agriculture. For her leadership in agricultural education, Lett was selected as Forrest County Agricultural High School’s 2016 Teacher of the Year and as the 2016 Mississippi Farm Bureau Teacher of the Year. Suzanne Kelly, CTE Director at Forrest County Agricultural High School, says, “I truly believe the future is bright for Mississippi students with teachers like Mary Helen Lett who desire to make a positive difference in the lives of students.”

Lett is one of five finalists for the 2018 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, December 6, during ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Awards Banquet is sponsored by Express Employment Professionals, the US Army, CareerSafe, Stratasys, and International Baccalaureate. For more information about the ACTE Excellence Awards, visit our webpage.

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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, school counselors, guidance and career development professionals 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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