HHS Winter Wins

Wichita, Kan.- Agricultural Education teachers from across Kansas met at the Wichita Marriott in Wichita, Kansas for the Kansas Association of Agricultural Educators Ag Ed Symposium on January 18th through 20th. While there, teachers attended educational sessions, went on industry tours, networked with colleagues from across the state, held business sessions, and recognized award winners.

The conference is an annual conference that rotates across the state and is held each January. The symposium was led by KAAE Leadership including Dr. Kelly Hoelting, President; Jacob Larison, Past-President; Kasie Bogart, President-Elect; Carmelita Goossen, Executive Secretary; Jed Strnad, Executive Treasurer; Laura Bina, Membership Coordinator, and Lacie Harshbarger, Inservice Coordinator.

During the conference, Hays High School Agricultural Education instructor Nikole Winter was recognized as the winner of the KAAE Teachers Turn the Key Award. This award is for those teachers in their second, third, and fourth years. As the recipient of this award, Winter will receive a scholarship to attend the 2024 National Association of Agricultural Educators Convention and participate in the Teachers Turn the Key program with the other state winners.

“In her 4th year teaching at HHS, Mrs. Winter could easily pass for a seasoned veteran teacher,” commented Becky Hickert, CTE Coordinator and Assistant Principal of Hays High School. “She eagerly pursues professional development, which in turn supports student learning and success in high school and beyond. Hays High School has a long-standing tradition of a strong Agriculture Education Program, and these prestigious awards would affirm Mrs. Winter’s service to our community as an outstanding educator as she continues to build upon that strong foundation of success.”

“The Kansas Association of Agricultural Educators Ag Ed Symposium is the premier professional development conference for our KAAE members. The leadership team worked together to provide a conference with growth, collaboration, empowerment, and education for our teachers. With record attendance at the event, I am proud of the continued growth of the conference,” remarked Dr. Kelly Hoelting, KAAE President. “The three day conference helps to rejuvenate and cultivate a community where Agricultural Educators thrive, ensuring a robust future for Kansas Agricultural Education.”

The Kansas Association of Agricultural Educators is an organization of teachers of agriculture at the high school, postsecondary, and adult levels who seek to advance agricultural education in Kansas. The KAAE strives to provide leadership opportunities, service, and advocacy for its members.

The KAAE is affiliated with the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE).