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ACTE Announces Kentucky Agriculture Teacher as National Award Finalist(1)


October 12, 2017

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

ACTE Announces Kentucky Agriculture Teacher as National Award Finalist

ALEXANDRIA, VA — Today, the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) announced J. Wes York, Agriculture Teacher of Caldwell County High School in Princeton, Kentucky, as the 2017 ACTE Region II Teacher of the Year. This award recognizes the finest career and technical education teachers at the middle/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. The Teacher of the Year Award is sponsored by Express Employment Professionals.

J. Wes York was born and raised in Caldwell County, where he was first introduced to agriculture on his grandparents’ dairy farm. After becoming involved in FFA in high school, he was inspired to become an agricultural educator himself and currently teaches at his alma mater, Caldwell County High School. Over 19 years, York has developed a keen ability to balance freedom and structure in his classrooms to provide students with a safe but challenging learning environment. “I have never met a teacher who mentally and emotionally invests as much time and effort into each student as he does, no matter the situation or challenge,” says Kirstie Willis, former student and communications director for the Kentucky Corn Growers Association. “Teachers are expected to do many things, and Mr. York exceeds those set expectations by miles.”

In York’s tenure at Caldwell County, 11 students have been elected to regional offices (five of whom have served at the state level), eight Career Development Event (CDE) teams have made their way to national competitions, and his FFA teams have secured nearly two-dozen state champion and reserve championships. York takes advantage of the array of technology available to his students to research emerging trends in agriculture and to learn various processes through how-to videos. 

York has been involved in several community efforts, including serving as an officer for the Kentucky Association of Agriculture Educators (KAAE), as a member of the Kentucky Farm Bureau Organization, and as an elected representative on the local School-based Decision Making (SBDM) council. In these roles, he has worked closely with groups such as the FFA Alumni, local Conservation District, Farm Bureau, Optimist Club, and Lion's Club, which has led to opportunities for his students to receive mentorship from various experts on experiential learning opportunities, career paths, college selection and internships. York has received numerous honors for his teaching and mentorship, and in 2016 was ranked among the top eight high school teachers in Kentucky.

York 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.


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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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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