In the News July 26, 2006 – McCrory named Missouri ACTE Teacher of Year
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McCrory named Missouri ACTE Teacher of Year
Fortunately, there are teachers who recognize the opportunities in their profession and plunge in to capitalize on their insights. Their dedication enhances their work, benefits their students and strengthens their profession. Mike McCrory fits this description completely. There is only one “puzzlement.” When does he sleep?
McCrory has been invested in Missouri ACTE since 1979, serving as a board member, conference participant, member of the policy and budget committees, even acting parliamentarian. He has been equally supportive of MVATA and NME. These organizations reinforce his overall commitment. He is a teacher.
For 27 years, McCrory has been an agricultural education instructor and FFA Chapter Advisor at Clopton High School in Clarksville. The scope of the curriculum he teaches includes the “nuts and bolts” of agriculture but does not stop there. Agriculture encompasses more than soil and plants, even more than record keeping and financial management. Perhaps most important of all is the essential human component of leadership, one which McCrory endorses.
An enhancement grant gave him the capacity to establish an agri-science learning laboratory to meet the needs of each course in the curriculum. By using laboratory facilities, students receive “hands-on,” real world application of the subject matter. Within the shop laboratory, McCrory expects nothing less than perfection from students designing and constructing personal projects. He is proud of his inclusion program for students with special needs, 96 percent of whom are involved in his Ag-Ed program.
His classes are well known throughout the community. He insists that his students understand their civic responsibilities and live up to that challenge. Through volunteer programs and community betterment activities, he has established partnerships with individuals, charitable organizations and industry leaders. In this way, he has opened the door for student participation. His students have earned state and national recognition for their efforts. Students have responded to his example. McCrory has had seven students enter the teaching profession. He has been a supervisor for 12 student teachers in agriculture education.
As if a heavy teaching load were not enough, the list of his community activities is mind-boggling and spans an incredible diversity of interests. His church is first on his list. He has been president of the Mary Queen of Peace Church Council, Knights of Columbus, communion minister, church council and confirmation coordinator. Next on the list is an astounding collection of far flung services to the community. He has been a member of Pork Producers, 4-H leader; served on the Eolia Homecoming Parade Committee, even serving as the Homecoming Dinner member. For 22 years, he coached Khoury League and was a member of its league’s board of directors. He served as Missouri State Fair Assistant Superintendent sheep, swine and goats. McCrory has been active in the Missouri Cancer Society-Relay For Life, judges many county fairs, advisory boards and has served on the Pike County senior and junior fair boards.
McCrory has been active professionally at local, state, regional and national levels. He has made presentations on agricultural education related topics, prepared feature articles for local newspapers highlighting students, been interviewed by farm radio talk shows highlighting student accomplishments and agriculture-related issues, and served the Clopton Teachers Organization since 1979. He has been secretary and chairman of the Professional Development Committee.
On the state level, he has published three articles in the Missouri Agricultural Education Bulletin. He has served as presenter at numerous MVATA conferences and as guest lecturer at the University of M i s s o u r i – C o l u m b i a Agricultural Education Department–Rationale and Structure of Agricultural Education Program 4310.
Regionally, McCrory has been a presenter, representing Missouri at a Region IV NME Conference. He is recipient of the Distinguished Professional State Association Award. Nationally, he served on the Strategic Planning Committee, representing Missouri to assist in rewriting the Strategic Plan for NME.
McCrory holds a certificate in agricultural education and a bachelor of science degree in animal husbandry, both from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has participated in the Summer Institute on Food Safety, sponsored by the National Science Foundation. In his spare time, he is coowner/operator of Ashburton Farms.
An interesting observation is that McCrory has come full circle, much to the benefit of his students and his community. he graduated from Clopton High School in Clarksville and as soon as he had earned his bachelor of science, he headed for home.