Each year, the Agriculture Teachers Association of Texas recognizes three Outstanding Teachers who have shown a strong commitment to teaching and student success with a well-rounded program reflecting the Three-Circle model.
The Three-Circle model is an agriculture educational model, representing the three different categories: classroom instruction, supervised agricultural experiences, and participation in a leadership organization.
This year Frenship High School Agricultural Sciences Teacher and FFA Advisor, Matthew Huston took home the award for Outstanding Young Teacher.
“Receiving this award has really made me reflect on the successes and experiences that I have had as an agricultural science instructor,” said Huston. “Although I have only been a teacher for three years, those years have been filled with great experiences, the opportunity to build great connections, a lot of learning experiences, and most importantly some of the best students a teacher could ever ask for. I believe that this award speaks much more to the quality of the students who I have been blessed to teach than it does to my abilities as a teacher.”
Huston has a strong agricultural background and loves teaching the next generation of leaders in the classroom.
“My favorite part of being an ag teacher would have to be getting to work with some of the best kids in the state. I truly cannot express enough how honored and blessed I am to get to work with these students. Each day I wake up excited and honored to be able to work with such smart, hardworking, driven students who will outwork everyone just to reach their goals and aspirations. Each and every one of my students leaves a positive impact on me each and every day. I truly enjoy teaching agriculture because of the impact that they have on my life, and each day I strive to ensure that I can leave an equally as large impact on the outcome of their life.”
One of Huston’s goals is to continue to implement the three-circle model and provide students with opportunities for success through classroom instruction. This is the first circle in the three-circle model.
“To have a well-rounded program we try to make sure that students receive educational opportunities in each of the three different components of the model. For me this means offering in-class instruction that is meaningful to what the students need and want to learn about through signing up for an agricultural education course. We do this through using our curriculum to reinforce concepts that are learned in other courses such as math and science.”
The next circle in the model is supervised agricultural experiences, an area that allows students to explore different opportunities while also gaining real world application.
“Providing students with the opportunity to have a Supervised Agricultural Experience which ranges from working at a Vet Clinic, working on a farm, or showing an animal. We even have a student who raises and sells his own eggs. These supervised agricultural experiences allow the students to dive deeper into the skills they are learning in the classroom by having real-world hands-on experiences outside of the classroom.”
The final component of the three-circle model is participation in a leadership organization. At Frenship, the leadership organization is Future Farmers of America (FFA). Huston has a passion for developing leadership potential in students.
“The FFA allows us to teach students about career success, personal growth, and leadership qualities that will make them strong leaders in their homes and communities in the future. By combining all three of these components and providing students with a well-rounded experience that touches on each part of this model, we believe that we can help grow the next generation of strong agriculture leaders to help feed the world. I believe at Frenship our team does a great job of encouraging our students to be involved in each component so they can receive a quality experience that will prepare them for life after high school. Whether that is by going to college, working on the family farm, or attending a trade school and entering the workforce.”
Overall, Huston feels honored to receive the award for Outstanding Young Teacher and credits his success to his students. He believes that they are the ones who embody the weight of this accomplishment.
“Whether it be the students I had in my first two years at Plainview, or the students I have had over the past two school years here at Frenship, I have been blessed with the hardest working group of students in the entire state. We may not always win the competitions or awards we apply for, but I have no doubt that there has never been a group of students who outwork the students we have here at Frenship. The easiest way to explain it is that this award represents all the hard work and dedication that our students are willing to put into everything they do. Even though it has my name on it, I look at it as an award for any student who I had the opportunity to teach, because without them being willing to work hard and give it their all I would never have had the resume to win an award such as this one.”
Having a strong support system of co-workers, administrators, and parents is one area where Huston could not express his gratitude enough.
“I want to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to my teaching partners Mr. Ryan Pieniazek, Mrs. Angela VanGundy, Mrs. Melani Harris, and Ms. Kelsea Jones. I appreciate how well we all work to provide the students who are enrolled in Frenship Agriculture Education courses and the FFA with the best possible learning experience. I would also like to thank my administrators at both the High School and Ninth Grade Center. They are always willing to assist me and my students in any way possible. Their commitment to our students is admirable, and they also provide the highest level of support to their respective teachers. It is truly an honor to work with every individual of the administrative team on both campuses. Lastly, I have to say a special thanks to the parents of our students who wake up early, stay up late, and encourage their children to keep studying and pushing them to be their best. I know that our jobs would not be possible without the support that our students receive at home.”
Congratulations Matthew Huston, the Frenship Family is thankful for you!