Atwater High Ag Program Welcomes New Ag Student Teacher
The Atwater High School Agriculture Department welcomes Fresno State University’s Kyle Pawling to its agriculture and FFA program. Mr. Pawling is finalizing his agriculture teaching credential program as a fall student teacher. Over the past twenty years, Atwater High School has had over thirty-five university level student teachers. The process involves a semester of teaching in the classroom, agriculture project supervisions, and FFA leadership under the mentorship of experienced agriculture teachers and FFA advisors within the department. “This is an opportunity to shape, develop, encourage, and support new teachers into the profession which is in dire need of effective and productive educators to fill in the growing need throughout the state and nation,” said Atwater High School agriculture mechanics instructor Sam Meredith.
Mr. Pawling’s area of interest in the agriculture mechanics pathway which includes shop classes in welding, wood, and engines. “I wanted to be an agriculture teacher so I can give back to the next generation of students and impact their lives in a positive way just as my agriculture teachers did for me,” said Pawling. Originally from Riverside, California, Mr. Pawling was an active FFA member at Norte Vista High School and attended Mt. San Antonio College and Fresno State University. His goal is to learn, observe, and gain as much experience to establish a solid foundation towards his teaching tenure. “I hope to have the opportunity to teach in the central valley and continue to call the valley my home,” said Pawling.
The Merced Union High School District along with the agriculture high school programs within the district are strong supporters of the teacher credentialing program and student teachers. UC Davis, Chico State University, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and Cal Poly Pomona are the agriculture credentialing universities in California that send students to quality, productive agriculture programs to provide new teachers the experience associated with their chosen profession.
Atwater High School has over 1100 individual agriculture students. “The challenge agriculture education faces is the stereotype that agriculture education is for agriculture students only,” says Atwater High School agriculture instructor Dave Gossman. “The reality is that agriculture education and the FFA has value for all students in terms of skills, experiences, activities, and involvement that benefits all regardless of career interests.”
The Atwater High School agriculture education program and FFA focuses on academic success, personal growth, leadership, and career exploration for students. The Atwater and California FFA is a high school youth leadership and career development organization that is a state association of the National FFA Organization, a federally charted corporation under Public Law 105-225. The California Association currently serves over 95,000 student members in 338 high schools, from urban schools in Los Angeles and the Bay Area to rural schools all across the state.
Atwater High School Agriculture Department
PO Box 835 / 2201 Fruitland Ave
Atwater, CA 95301