Industrial ag teacher gets national honor
Aug. 8, 2011 at 3:08 a.m.
For Ardy Tiner, being an agricultural educator is all about illuminating the talents of his students.
"You have to help the students succeed in something that maybe they didn't think was possible," the 28-year-old Industrial High School teacher said.
Recently, Tiner's own success was illuminated by a national award for agricultural educators.
Tiner was selected for a Teachers Turn the Key Award from the National Association of Agricultural Educators, which will give the third-year teacher the opportunity to meet and bounce ideas off other professionals across the nation. Along with about 20 other nationwide winners, Tiner was awarded a trip to St. Louis for the association's convention in November.
"I'm kind of overwhelmed by the whole thing," Tiner said. "I knew I loved what I did. I just didn't know if other people would be able to see that."
Tiner received the Texas Turn the Key Award after submitting a two-inch binder full of recommendations, his teaching philosophy and proof of his students' accomplishments, among other things. He said he was surprised to learn that he was later the only Texas teacher to be selected for the national award.
The award is aimed toward agriculture teachers who are near the beginning of their careers, with the intent of attracting more young people into the profession. It's a mission Tiner was on board with.
"I just wanted to try to achieve something to try to encourage my friends to go into this profession as well," he said.
He's no stranger to encouragement, either.
Tiner told the story of a student he convinced to join FFA after hearing the student sing one day. The student went on to place in the top 10 in the Texas FFA talent contest, and he now helps pay his way through college with singing gigs.
"It ... gave him a confidence boost in what he can do," Tiner said.
Tiner said it's witnessing that type of success that drives him.
"Just to see the look on their faces - that's what kind of motivates me," he said.