ACTE Announces Minnesota Agriculture Education Instructor as National Award Finalist


September 20, 2022 

Contact: Dominique Frascoia 


ACTE Announces Minnesota Agriculture Education Instructor as National Award Finalist 


ALEXANDRIA, VA—Today, the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) announced Mary Hoffmann, Agriculture Education Instructor at Sleepy Eye Public Schools in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, as the 2022 ACTE Region III Teacher of the Year. This award recognizes the finest career and technical education (CTE) 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. 


Mary teaches in Sleepy Eye, which is a small-town community of about 3600 people. The town of Sleepy Eye has a huge agriculture base. There are two implement dealers, two processing plants, agriculture and banking cooperatives, two large-scale hog producers, an auction market, and many other small businesses that support the Agriculture Program. There are two schools in Sleepy Eye: St. Mary’s Catholic School (k-12) and Sleepy Eye Public (k-12). The agriculture program is at Sleepy Eye Public, but she is also able to work with the 7-12 students from St. Mary’s. Mary offers Independent Agriculture for the students at St. Mary’s in order for them to be involved in the Agriculture Program, including FFA.  Mary works with these students to find out what avenue they would like to pursue. It may be totally independent where they have a job or agricultural projects they are working on such as work-based learning. Others may choose agriculture and career exploration or more specific topics like small animals, large animals, plants, or wildlife. Then Mary will give them projects to do in order for them to learn about the area of agriculture they chose.  


The Sleepy Eye Agriculture Program has grown to include three instructors and is a really great example of the three-circle Agriculture Education model: classroom instruction, supervised agricultural experience projects, and FFA.  Mary’s personal teaching philosophy is to provide students with base agriculture knowledge as well as skills for the future. She has many goals for the program based on this. Helping students to realize the importance of agriculture in their daily lives is the first goal, followed by providing FFA opportunities, help students become better people and to teach with heart and passion. Mary states, “You never know what some of the students’ lives are like at home, but at school it can be really great in your classroom if you are the role model and caring person that the student needs.” 


Hoffmann is one of five finalists for the 2023 national title. The national winner will be announced at the ACTE Awards Gala, an award presentation recognizing the best CTE educators in the country. The event will take place on November 30, 2022, at 7:00 p.m. The Awards Gala is sponsored by Express Employment Professionals, Goodheart-Willcox and Stratasys. 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.