The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) announces Louis Beck, an agricultural science instructor/FFA chapter advisor at Union Community Schools in La Porte City, Iowa, as the 2015 ACTE Region III Teacher of the Year. The ACTE Teacher of the Year award, sponsored by Express Employment Professionals, recognizes the finest CTE teachers at the middle and secondary school level who have demonstrated innovation in the classroom, commitment to their students and dedication to the improvement of CTE in their institutions and communities.
Louis Beck has served as the agricultural science instructor and FFA advisor at Union Community Schools in La Porte City, Iowa, for the past 17 years. “Louis is not one to settle for just maintaining his pace in the classroom, within his school’s FFA program or within the community in which he lives,” says Ellen Doese, Wapsie Valley agricultural education instructor. By gathering input from stakeholders and advisory groups, tweaking curriculum offerings, and spearheading community improvement programs, Beck has customized his program to the school district, its students, and the community.
In 2013, Beck’s FFA chapter received a grant to establish a community orchard and horticulture laboratory to provide fresh produce for the community. Among other activities, Beck’s chapter members help manage the La Porte City FFA Historical and Agricultural Museum, run a landscaping company that employs members in the summer, manage an 8-acre agronomy laboratory for cash sales, participate in World Food Prize Youth programs and lead summer enrichment classes each summer for elementary students. The chapter has received “Superior Chapter” designation for 25 years, and three times it has earned national 3-star gold status. More than 100 of Beck’s students and FFA members have received their advanced FFA degrees. Beck himself has been recognized as a leader in the field many times over; among his honors he has received the Star District Advisor Award and an honorary FFA degree. He has served in high-level leadership positions in local and state organizations and currently serves as a mentor for the student teaching center at Iowa State University’s Agricultural Education department.
Beck is one of five finalists for the 2016 national title. The national winner will be announced at the ACTE Awards Banquet, a dinner and award presentation recognizing the best CTE educators in the country. The event will take place on Thursday evening, November 19, during ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Awards Banquet is sponsored by Express Employment Professionals, Kuder, CareerSafe, Certiport, and Stratasys. For more information about the ACTE Excellence Awards, visit our webpage.
About ACTE: The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is the nation’s largest not-for-profit association committed to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. ACTE represents the community of CTE professionals, including educators, administrators, researchers, guidance counselors and others at all levels of education. ACTE is committed to excellence in providing advocacy, public awareness and access to resources, professional development and leadership opportunities.