ACTE Announces Minnesota Teacher as National Award Finalist

September 23, 2019

Contact: Jarrod Nagurka, 703-683-9312

ACTE Announces Minnesota Teacher as National Award Finalist

ALEXANDRIA, VA—Today, the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) announced Neil Pearson, Agriculture Education Teacher at Willmar Sr. High School in Willmar, Minnesota, as the 2019 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.

Pearson has been an agriculture teacher for the past 36 years in Minnesota. He has worked in the Belgrade, Atwater-Grove City and the Willmar Public School districts. In that time, Pearson has taught all agricultural subjects, but has primarily focused on teaching classes specializing in Small and Large Engines, Carpentry, Power Systems, and Welding. He has been the FFA Advisor/Coach of 21 Agricultural Mechanics CDE teams placing in the top five in Minnesota, including eight teams that have won at the state level. Pearson has also advised four National Proficiency winners, three American Star finalists and one National Star in Agribusiness. He has served as the Minnesota Association of Agricultural Educators President and received the MAAE Outstanding Agriculture Teacher and NAAE Region 3 Outstanding Agricultural Teacher awards.

He is most proud of seeing former students contributing to the community and becoming productive citizens being employed as welders, plumbers, farmers, electricians, carpenters, mechanics, implement sales/service technicians and more. Pearson currently teaches in a four person high school agriculture department with his daughter and son-in-law, and manages his own herd of beef cattle and acreage alongside his wife, Sheila.

Pearson is one of five finalists for the 2020 national title. The national winner will be announced at the ACTE Awards Gala, a dinner and award presentation recognizing the best CTE educators in the country. The event will take place on Wednesday evening, December 4, during ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2019 in Anaheim, CA. The Awards Gala is sponsored by Express Employment Professionals, Goodheart-Willcox, CareerSafe, 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.