Beth Galloway, Catrina Pollard, Marcus Pollard and Melissa Snyder, agricultural educators in Newton County Schools in Covington, Georgia, are four of the 405 teachers from across the state who attended the annual Georgia Vocational Agricultural Teachers Association (GVATA) Summer Leadership Conference held July 6-9, 2014 in Jekyll Island, Georgia.
During the GVATA Summer Leadership Conference educators conduct an annual business meeting, participate in professional learning breakout sessions, award members for outstanding service and elect new representatives to serve on the GVATA Executive Board. This meeting also allows educators the opportunity to communicate and collaborate with other agriculture teachers from across the state.
Many special guests attended this year’s annual meeting including State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge, who addressed the agricultural educators during the opening session. Other keynote speakers included three of the four current State School Superintendant candidates for the 2014 election: Dr. Mike Buck, Mr. Richard Woods and Rep. Alisha Morgan.
GVATA members recognized for their outstanding achievement in agricultural education were: Outstanding Young Member, Clay Walker of Veterans High School; Outstanding Teacher, Richard Gill of Brantley County High School; Outstanding Agricultural Education Program, Madison County High School; Outstanding Adult Education Program, Gordon County Young Farmers, Advisor Trish Williams; Ideas Unlimited, Chansi Coleman of Eagles Landing High School; Lifetime Achievement, Mr. Gary Minyard of Franklin County; Teachers Turn the Key, Micheal Lee Barnes of Lowndes High School and Josh White of Madison County High School.
New members elected to serve on the GVATA Executive Board were: Area 1 Director, Lauren Jarrett of Summerville Middle School; Area 4 Director, Hannah King of Effingham County High School; Area 6 Director, Michael Kirkland of Wayne County High School; and Brittany Bearden of Hahira Middle School to serve as President-Elect.
GVATA is the professional association for agricultural educators in Georgia and is an affiliate of the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE). The mission of NAAE is to “provide agricultural education for the global community through visionary leadership, advocacy, and service.” It is the aim of GVATA members to carry out this mission in Georgia.