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Steele Named South Carolina Agricultural Educators' 2014 Outstanding Young Member

web posted August 15, 2014

LEXINGTON, KY –  Dr. Darla Steele, Agricultural Educator at Strom Thurmond Career & Technology Center in Johnston, S.C., has been selected as the 2014 South Carolina winner of the Outstanding Young Member award given by the National Association of Agricultural Educators. Outstanding Young Member award winners are Agricultural Educators who have been teaching for no more than six years and who have demonstrated significant progress toward establishing a successful Agricultural Education program.

Applicants are judged on a variety of criteria, including teaching philosophy, effective classroom and experiential instruction, development of partnerships, and professional growth.

The Outstanding Young Member award was created to encourage early career agriculture teachers to both remain in the profession and become active members in their professional association. The NAAE Outstanding Young Member award program is sponsored by John Deere as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.
NAAE is the professional organization in the United States for agricultural educators.  It provides its’ nearly 8,000 members with professional networking and development opportunities, professional liability coverage, and extensive awards and recognition programs. The mission of NAAE is “professionals providing agricultural education for the global community through visionary leadership, advocacy and service.”  The NAAE headquarters are in Lexington, Ky.
Dr. Steele, along with her co-teacher, Mr. Brooks, are responsible for the 200+ member Agricultural Education program and Thurmond FFA at Strom Thurmond Career & Technology Center. Under Steele and Brooks’ leadership, the Strom Thurmond FFA Chapter has received the coveted South Carolina Governor’s Citation for Community Development and Student Development twice, been named a South Carolina Gold Emblem Chapter twice, and have had numerous state championship career development teams in the categories of Floriculture, Turfgrass Management, Public Speaking, Nursery/Landscape and Farm Business Management. 

The many other Regional, State and National FFA Awards, including State FFA Degree recipients, Proficiency Award winners, and college scholarship winners, are too numerous to list. They are also very active in serving the agricultural industry and many other facets in the community.
For more information regarding the agriculture program at Strom Thurmond Career & Technology Center, contact Darla Steele or Jeremy Brooks at the career center, (803) 275-1767 or visit the agriculture program website at http://www.stromthurmondffa.com.

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