Meet Scott Stone, ACTE president

Meet Scott Stone, incoming ACTE president. To say hello and welcome, Techniques conducted an interview, which originally appeared in print in April 2022.

What is your job title and what do you do?

I am an agriculture instructor and FFA advisor at Centralia High School in Centralia, Missouri. I teach ninth- through 12th-grade students about agriculture. My course load includes:

  • Ag Science I
  • Ag Science II
  • Advanced Animal Science
  • Veterinary Science
  • Greenhouse Production
  • Floriculture

What was your education experience like? What did you study?

I received my high school education at Williamsburg High School in Williamsburg, Pennsylvania, where I focused on college prep and agriculture courses. Then I attended Penn State University and majored in agriculture education. I finished my undergraduate education and received a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education — teaching option — from the University of Missouri – Columbia. My master’s degree also came from the University of Missouri. I took that in career and technical education (CTE) with a focus on agriculture.

In your opinion, how can CTE conduct more effective outreach to diverse populations of students, faculty and stakeholders?

I think the job of any organization or group is to make sure that they are not unintentionally putting up barriers that make it difficult for diverse populations to become involved. As CTE educators, we have a unique opportunity to prepare students for future careers. We must ensure that any student, faculty or stakeholder who wants to work in this space has an opportunity to do so.

What do you hope to achieve as ACTE president?

My main goal as ACTE president is to make sure our Association is working as hard as we can for the profession. If the past two years have taught us anything, it is that we have no idea what may happen tomorrow. As an Association, we need to stand on the cutting edge of those changes and be prepared to help our membership where possible.

More specifically, I want to grow our membership. There is strength in numbers. We need to rely on each other. ACTE offers its members so many great benefits. And I don’t want any CTE professional to miss out on those benefits. I would love to see 100% of our states unified. We need strong state CTE associations to provide the support and resources each state needs. The only way we can build strong states is by joining and becoming involved on the state level.

Further, I would love to get preservice teachers more involved in ACTE. It is no secret that we have a shortage of highly qualified CTE professionals. I strongly feel that, if we can connect preservice teachers with professionals in the fi eld and support their needs, they will be more likely to enter — and remain in — CTE.

Finally, I would love to see more CTE professionals utilizing the excellent resources we have in CTELearn. This platform offers a wealth of knowledge for our professionals at a minimal cost. Our members can receive valuable training from the comfort of their homes or classrooms.

How has your experience in leadership at ACTE informed & enhanced the work you do to provide high-quality CTE for all students?

I am proud to say I am a 25-year teaching veteran. I have always sought out ways to be involved in our profession. My involvement has allowed me to serve in leadership roles with the Missouri Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association, MO ACTE, the National Association of Agricultural Educators, and ACTE. Each of these experiences helped me to develop valuable partnerships with people I can call on when I have questions or need help. These resources, in turn, help my students receive the highest-quality education.

Serving in leadership roles has allowed me to attend conferences, such as VISION and the NationalPolicy Seminar. While at those conferences, I attend workshops that are relevant to my content area. I take the skills and knowledge I learn back to my classroom to become a stronger teacher for my students. In fact, my students often complain that I will make them try something new that I learned while away at a conference. They are usually right.

What advice would you offer someone who wants to become more involved in ACTE leadership opportunities?

I never saw myself as a leader. My first leadership role happened because no one else volunteered for the job. So, I said I would give it a try. I am not sure how successful I was in that role, but I loved the fact that I could make a positive difference for teachers and students. One position led to another. I just kept saying yes to different roles.

My focus never lied on what I could gain from the position, but instead what I could do to help the profession. Leadership is never about you; it must always be about the people you serve. If you are interested in becoming more involved in leadership, I would say go for it. If at first you don’t succeed, try something else. There are plenty of opportunities to become involved if you have the desire.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

We have a fantastic ACTE board of directors and ACTE staff . We are here to serve the membership. Let us know what you need. We want to hear from you.

Meet ACTE’s board of directors.