Mason Jones, Edmond Public Schools, received the Outstanding New Teacher Award for the Agricultural Education Division of the Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education at the 49th annual Career and Technology Education Summer Conference.
“This award is meant to encourage new teachers in the CareerTech System to remain in the profession,” said Skye McNiel, OkACTE executive director.
Recipients must have made significant contributions toward innovative programs and have shown a professional commitment early in their careers. New Teacher Award recipients have been members of the OkACTE for no less than two, but no more than five years.
Jones began his teaching career in Harrah Public Schools before moving to Edmond, where he has been part of a three-teacher agricultural education program for four years. During that time, the program has grown to include an eighth-grade program and to offer more opportunities for students.
Jones has helped Edmond FFA members achieve a number of honors, including being a Three-Star National Chapter in 2011, ‘13 and ‘15. He has also led them in a variety of community activities including conducting petting zoos and an annual plant sale; organizing a showmanship competition with the local livestock show and improving agricultural literacy in the community.
“But perhaps the most impressive asset Mason and the agricultural education program have to offer is the transformative power to build our students’ self-esteem and skill level to become leaders in our school and productive citizens after graduation from high school,” said Chris Helling, assistant principal at Edmond North High School.
The annual CareerTech conference took place Monday and Tuesday in the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City. It attracts some 3,700 CareerTech educators from across the state and is one of the largest professional development educator conferences in the state. OkACTE is the professional organization for the state’s CareerTech administrators, teachers and staff members.