ALEXANDRIA, VA—The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) has announced Sharon Metzger, Agriculture Teacher at Basha High School in Chandler, Arizona, as the 2017 ACTE Region V Teacher of the Year. This award recognizes the finest career and technical education teachers at the middle/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.
In 2003, Sharon Metzger was hired to establish a new Agriculture Program and FFA Chapter at Basha High School in Chandler, Arizona. Fourteen years later, the Basha Agriculture program is the largest program at the high school with an enrollment of over 140 students. The program has ten courses covering animal sciences, agricultural business and engineering; two full-time instructors; and expanded funding that has helped build new facilities. Metzger’s FFA Chapter is considered one of the strongest CTSOs at Basha and often asked to advise other clubs or organizations on parliamentary procedure. The chapter has placed 1st in the state in ten different contests, has been recognized as a national 3-star chapter four times and placed 5th in two national contests.
Madison Montes, student at Basha High School, says, “Ms. Metzger is one of the most determined teachers out there and will stop at nothing to help a student who is in need of more than class time to understand a subject.” Metzger leverages her students’ interests to make their lessons memorable and relevant. Every student in the Agriculture program is required to have a work-study project, the Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE), and monitor their hours worked or dollars gained. Metzger frequently works with math and science teachers to create cross-curricular units to enhance the standards addressed at each grade level. This year, she established three dual credit classes through Mesa Community College in her plant science, agriculture business, and agriculture work-based learning courses. In addition, she works with the state universities and community colleges to ensure that her students are aware of their post-secondary education opportunities, and frequently invites professors to speak to her classes.
Metzger has been an active member and leader in the Arizona Agriculture Teachers Association (AATA), ACTE Arizona (ACTE AZ), and the National Association of Agricultural Educators, and currently serves as co-coordinator for the ACTE AZ Fellows program.
Metzger is one of five finalists for the 2018 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 Wednesday evening, December 6, during ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee.