Red Oak Ag Teacher to Receive National Award
The National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) will recognize Alan Spencer, Red Oak Junior/Senior High School Ag Ed Instructor, as the Outstanding Ag Ed Teacher for Region III at the NAAE Conference this December in Anaheim, California. Spencer’s state winning application was judged against other state winning applications at the Region III Conference that includes Ag Educators from Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Spencer will be recognized along with the five other regional winners during the First General Session of the NAAE Conference. The award application was based on an overview of the Red Oak Ag Ed Program, Spencer’s teaching philosophy, examples of effective classroom and lab instruction, experiential learning, leadership development, community partnerships, program marketing, and professional development.
Spencer is a 1991 graduate of Villisca High School and a 1995 graduate of Iowa State University. Spencer taught Ag Education at West Marshall High School and Manson-Northwest Webster High School before working for eight years at the Iowa Department of Education as the Iowa FFA Executive Secretary. In 2011, Spencer started as the Ag Ed Instructor/FFA Advisor at Red Oak. Spencer is certified in nine different areas of the Curriculum for Ag Science Education (CASE) and has served as a CASE Master Teacher for five years conducting professional development classes for teachers from around the country. The Red Oak Ag Ed program has grown from twenty-five FFA members in 2011 to nearly 100 this upcoming school year. An additional Ag Ed Instructor/FFA Advisor, Tess Mittag, was added in 2018 to instruct Middle School Ag Ed classes and to involve Middle School FFA members.
Spencer and his wife, Andrea, have three children; Clark (12), Grant (10), and Addie (7). Clark, along with twenty-six other incoming 7th Grade students, will begin the year as Red Oak FFA members this Fall. Andrea assists with training FFA Ag Skills Career Development Event teams, organizing the Ag Ed classroom, working with the Red Oak FFA Alumni and Supporters, and assisting members prepare for Agriscience Research Projects.