ST LOUIS Jeffrey Mayes, agricultural educator at Gladbrook-Reinbeck High School in Reinbeck, Iowa, is one of 36 individuals nationwide who received the Teachers Turn the Key Award, given November 19 at the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) annual convention in St. Louis.
The Teachers Turn the Key Award program (TTTK) is a scholarship to allow early career agricultural educators to attend the annual NAAE convention, giving them an opportunity to become involved with their professional association on a national level. TTTK participants take part in special programming geared toward agricultural educators in the early stages of their careers.
Mayes has been the agriculture teacher at Gladbrook-Reinbeck High School since 2008. Since then, he has worked to better connect his program to his community known for supporting student organizations. Mayes' program offers a large variety of courses to expose students to the varying facets of agriculture and therefore, potential career fields. With 30 members in his FFA chapter, he has created several opportunities for students to develop Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects through his personal endeavors of a catering business and two swine operations. Mayes always offers hands-on experiences for his students.
Jeffrey Mayes accepting the Teacher Turn the Key award from NAAE President Greg Curlin at the 2011 NAAE Convention.
"Mr. Mayes is a lifelong learner, constantly seeking out new ways to improve his curriculum and enhance instruction for his students," said Garrick Teckenburg of Gladbrook-Reinbeck High School, Mayes' principal.
Each of the TTTK winners received a plaque and a scholarship to cover convention registration, travel expenses, and housing during the NAAE convention in St. Louis. RAM Truck Brand sponsors the TTTK program as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.
NAAE is the professional association for agricultural educators. The mission of NAAE is "professionals providing agricultural education for the global community through visionary leadership, advocacy, and service." The NAAE office is located in Lexington, Ky.