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New classes will be available at middle school, high school starting this upcoming school year

COURTESY PHOTO - Kyra Forester will teach agriculture in the Estacada School District.

Estacada students will be able to learn about everything from plants to livestock begining later this month.

During the upcoming school year, the district will launch an agriculture program at the high school and middle school. High school students will be able to study plant science, animal science and agricultural leadership, and middle school students can enroll in an introductory course.

Estacada's new agriculture teacher, Kyra Forester, noted that the classes will consist

of a variety of hands-on projects.

"Students have a way of remembering those, more so than anything else," she said.

A group of parents and community members requested that the agriculture program be revived during a school board meeting last year. The district had previously done so three years ago, but it was removed from course offerings because of a lack of student interest at the time.

Forester has a bachelors degree in animal science and a masters degree in agricultural education from Oregon State University.

She's excited to connect local students with all that agriculture entails.

"A typical day will vary quite a bit," Forrester said. "One of the nice things (about the agricultural field) is that there are a lot of differences from day to day, and week to week."

Agriculture students will also be able to participate in FFA, which focuses on leadership, personal growth and career success through agriculture education.

"I'm excited to give students the opportunity to compete in a variety of different career development events," she said. "I'm excited to give them experiences that they might not otherwise have."

Students are at the helm of the organization, which Forester thinks is valuable.

"It's a student led organization," she said. "A lot of what we do is going to be based on what students are excited about, and what we get the momentum to do."

She added that even if students opt to not pursue agriculture after high school, the experiences will set them up well for their future.

"The leadership aspects help prepare you for career and life in general," she said. "There's something to be said about the ability to work with people from all walks of life."


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