Local Educator Receives Young Teacher of the Year Award

Laura Klenda, Agriculture Educator and FFA Advisor from Centre K-12 Schools, has been named the 2018 state winner of the Young Teacher of the Year award from the Kansas Association for Career and Technical Education (K-ACTE). The awards ceremony took place during the CTE Summer Conference of the KACTE on Monday, July 30, 2018 in Manhattan, Kansas.

Returning to her home community, Laura Klenda has been teaching agriculture education at Centre High School for nine years. Klenda was fortunate to be able to teach with her former Ag Ed Instructor for two years prior to becoming the Ag Ed Department Lead Teacher and FFA Advisor.

Klenda is always looking for new approaches of instruction to engage students in learning about the agriculture around them and how it affects them. The incorporation of project based learning is a huge part of the instruction that takes place in her classroom and laboratory areas.

By providing students with these hands on opportunities to figure out how things work, Klenda helps to stimulate their memory and really learn the objectives for each class.

It is her belief that students need to be able to think on their feet and do something about their learning, all while taking into consideration those around them.

Klenda takes time each year for professional development opportunities that will improve herself as an educator and ultimately benefit her students, by them gaining the most from these experiences. She serves on the In-Service Committee for the Kansas Association of Agricultural Educators, which coordinates Ag Ed Professional Development for Kansas Ag Teachers twice a year. Klenda also serves as the Membership Director for the organization.

The K-ACTE Awards promote excellence in career and technical education. K-ACTE recognizes those individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to CTE, programs that exemplify the highest standards and organizations that have conducted activities to promote and expand CTE programs. Award winners serve as inspirational leaders to ACTE: they embody the core values of serving their students and being committed to CTE. Award candidates are evaluated based on accomplishments and innovations that exhibit the quality of the candidate for the award and contributions to the CTE community, which could include activities within their institutions, communities, Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE), K-ACTE, and other organizations.

The Young Teacher of the Year award is for members employed as full-time classroom/laboratory CTE teachers at the secondary or postsecondary school level who have 6-10 years teaching experience.