Mary Hoffmann, Sleepy Eye agriculture teacher was named ACTE Region III Teacher of the Year at this summer’s Association of Career and Technical Education Conference in Des Moines, Iowa.
ACTE is the largest national education association of thriving professionals dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. Its members represent all facets of career and technical education.
The ACTE represents teachers in the areas of agriculture, business, counseling and career development, engineering and technical education, family and consumer science, health science, trade and industrial education and postsecondary, adult and career education. Region III includes Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin.
Hoffmann was selected as the Region III Teacher of the Year winner for her work in agricultural education with the Sleepy Eye Future Farmers of America, and as a leader in her school, state and nation. Hoffmann’s teaching philosophy is to provide students with base agriculture knowledge, as well as skills for the future.
She said she has many goals for the program based on that philosophy, including helping students to realize the importance of agriculture in their daily lives, providing FFA opportunities and helping students become better people and to teach with heart and passion.
“You never know what some of the students’ lives are like at home,” she said, “but at school it can be really great in your classroom if you are the role model and caring person that the student needs.”
Hoffmann serves on Minnesota’s State Teach Agriculture Results and State Fair committees, FFA Adult Board and also serves as a mentor for various programs.
She is also a grant writer for the Minnesota Association of Agriculture Educators. Over the years, Hoffmann has secured funding for statewide professional development opportunities for agriculture teachers.
The $150,000 grants she has secured include grants for classes in Woodworking, Food Science and Chemistry, Small Engines, Electricity, Floral Design, Record Keeping, Landscaping, Construction and Welding.
At the National level, Hoffmann serves on the National Council for Agricultural Education as the president-elect. The National Council for Agricultural Education strives to stimulate positive growth in agricultural education.
The council provides leadership for stakeholders in agriculture, food, fiber and natural resources systems education. It strives to surface issues important to agricultural education and stimulate actions to support those issues.
The council serves as a common meeting ground for agricultural education and represents organizations and entities representing students, teachers, teacher educators, state leaders, alumni, industry, and government.
Hoffmann said she is honored to receive this award and excited for the next steps in the process, which include an interview and selection of the top Teacher of the Year in the nation at the ACTE Awards Gala in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Nov. 3.