Mike Patrick, Yelm High School award winner.
Photo courtesy: National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE)
The National Association of Agricultural Educators, Inc. based in Lexington, Kentucky issued this NEWS RELEASE tilted:
Yelm Agriculture Teacher Selected for Educator Award
LAS VEGAS Mike Patrick of Yelm, Wash. is one of only six individuals nationwide who received the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) Outstanding Agricultural Education Teacher award on December 1st  at the NAAE annual conference in Las Vegas.
With all of his accomplishments and responsibilities, one might think Patrick never sleeps. However, it is not lack of rest that allows him to get everything done; it is never-failing commitment, enthusiasm and drive to impact the future of every student. Patrick is one of seven agriculture teachers at Yelm High School who together, teach more than 1,000 students annually. His area of focus is horticulture, but he also serves as the head of the Agri-Science Department at Yelm.
‘I work to make each of my courses real and relevant. I know I am successful when the students take ownership and drive the curriculum rather than me,’ Patrick said.
This philosophy has led the Yelm agriscience program and FFA chapter to be successful at numerous levels. Some of their accomplishments include multiple Models of Innovation nominations by the National FFA Organization, a national-winning FFA Agricultural Sales team, and two national-winning FFA individuals. Beyond awards, however, the program at Yelm stands out for its unwavering commitment to the local community; this is exemplified by numerous community service projects and volunteer hours by members of the Yelm agriscience program.
‘I believe that Mike Patrick is the perfect example of an Outstanding Teacher,’ said Elaine Lewis, fellow agriscience instructor at Yelm High School. ‘His commitment and professionalism serve as a model and mentor to students and peers. His unselfish dedication has meant success for many lives and changed futures.’
Each of the six Outstanding Agricultural Education Teacher regional winners receive personal use of a Toyota Tundra pickup truck for two years, an expense paid trip to attend the 2010 NAAE convention in Las Vegas, and an invitation to a special awards dinner. Toyota sponsors the Outstanding Agricultural Education Teacher Award as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. NAAE is the professional association for agricultural educators. Its mission is ‘professionals providing agricultural education for the global community through visionary leadership, advocacy and service.’ The NAAE office is located in Lexington, Ky.”
Patrick has taught at Yelm High School for 14 years and is the head of YHS’s seven-teacher Agri-Science Department. He also serves as an adviser for the schools FFA chapter.
Read more from Lisa Pemberton’s beautiful report in today’s Olympian.
Ed. Note: Glad to see Ms. Pemberton back reporting on our area.
CONGRATULATIONS TO MR. PATRICK & EVERYONE AT YHS’S AG-ED PROGRAM!