Agriscience teacher receives award

Shawano Community High School's new agriculture teacher, who formerly taught in Gillett, recently received a national education award.

Melissa Braun of Cecil was one of three recipients in the educator division of the Agriscience Awards presented July 12 in Washington, D.C., by the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).

The program honored educators who emphasize concepts, principles and applications in their curriculum to promote the study of agricultural science.

The foundation and AFBF sponsored eight Agriscience Awards for scientists, high school educators and students around the country.

"One of my colleagues, who teaches over at Oconto Falls High School in the ag department, received the award last year and really encouraged me to apply for it this year," Braun said. "I received the news toward the end of the school year, just as we were wrapping up everything, so it was nice to end on a good note since I was wrapping up at Gillett."

Braun, who was the agriscience teacher at Gillett Secondary School for the last eight years, was also recognized as the 2007 Wisconsin Agriscience Teacher of the Year, the 2007 National Agriscience Teacher of the Year and received a Kohl Fellowship in 2008.

She has taught a wide array of agriscience courses, but has a great interest in the areas of food science, horticulture, and greenhouse management. Her teaching includes many hands-on activities and field trips to reinforce the scientific principles throughout her lessons.

She follows the agricultural education model, which combines classroom instruction, involvement with Future Farmers of America and a supervised agricultural project.

Bob Stallman, AFBF president, said Braun and the other winners are "innovators in the field of agricultural science and technology. They are the individuals we will rely on well into the future to develop and promote innovative ways to secure American agriculture and its role as a world producer."

By: 
Tiffany Wilbert
Subhead: 
Former Gillett teacher now at SCHS
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