Dec. 25 , 2006

'Nothing less than outstanding'

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

Seena Glessing, Dassel-Cokato High School’s FFA instructor and food technology teacher, recently received two awards for her teaching techniques including Outstanding Young Agriculture Teacher of the Year.

Glessing submitted an extensive 12-page application with three letters of recommendation and pictures of her classroom to the Minnesota Association of Agriculture Educators.

The first part of the application explained the different classes she teaches and programs, class demographics, class modifications and exponential learning or how she involves students outside of the classroom including FFA and work programs.

Another part considered partnerships and marketing including the FFA alumni, which Glessing began, and how she markets programs and FFA to students, parents, and the community.

Professional growth besides her teaching was also a part of the application. Glessing has served as state secretary for the Minnesota Association of Agriculture Educators, region five FFA advisor for two years, served on state adult FFA board, and has presented workshops for winter and summer FFA conferences.

Glessing also had to describe her teaching philosophy, of which she wrote, “Rather than giving a man a fish, teach him how to fish, so he can have food for a lifetime.”

“That’s how I try and present things in a classroom,” Glessing said.

After receiving the Outstanding Young Agriculture Instructor award, Glessing was then nominated to the Minnesota Association for Career and Technical Education (MACTE).

Out of a pool of career and technical teachers which included industrial technology, business, family and consumer science, health occupation and agriculture education, MACTE selected Glessing as Minnesota’s Outstanding New Career and Technical Teacher of the Year.

“Recipients of this award are new teachers who have made significant contributions toward innovative, unique and novel programs and have shown a professional commitment early in their career,” according to the association.

Glessing’s qualities that stood out in the association included her development of new agriculture courses including food technology, wildlife management, youth leadership, and animal science.

Also, “she has been a catalyst in the growth of DC High School’s FFA chapter, from five members in 2000 (when she began), to 71 members today.”

Glessing’s work in developing partnerships with local businesses and organizations in the community was also found to be “impressive,” by the association.

It has been a professional and personal goal for Glessing to receive the Outstanding Young Agriculture Teacher of the Year, she said.

“It’s neat to be considered in such an elite group of agricultural teachers,” Glessing said.

As for the latter award, Glessing was even more surprised because it’s chosen from a larger pool of teachers and categories.

Former principal Paul Thomas, current principal Mark Herman, and board chair Kevin Dahlman were at the award ceremony in Rochester.

“In an overview of what Mrs. Glessing has done for Dassel-Cokato schools and the ag program, it has been nothing less than outstanding,” Dahlman said.

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