Montana to Welcome New Ag Education Specialist
From Northern Ag Network: After an extensive search process, Montana will soon have a new high school Agricultural Education Specialist, now that the open position has been accepted by a 13-year Ag Ed Instructor and FFA Advisor from Doddridge, West Virginia.
Shannon Boswell grew up along the Ohio River in Parkersburg, WV where her love of agriculture began at an early age. From weekends at her aunt and uncle’s farm, through 4-H where she showed horses and developed an interest in public speaking, to her involvement as an FFA Member in the Blennerhassett FFA chapter, agriculture has shaped Shannon’s passion for serving others.
After completing her major in Agricultural Education at West Virginia University with a Master of Science degree, Shannon began her teaching career in 2004, starting a new agricultural program in Summers County High School in Hinton, West Virginia.
Since 2005, Shannon Boswell has taught at Doddridge County High School in West Union, West Virginia. In a high school of 350 students Shannon led community-based support to expand laboratory space by 3000 square feet, adding a new school greenhouse, and an animal processing facility. Her program has won awards for the largest increase in FFA Membership, which has created the need for a second agricultural teaching position starting this next school year.
A leader in her profession, Shannon Boswell has served as the WV Association of Agricultural Educators Treasurer for the past eight years and also is a part of their Team Ag Ed group . She has worked with other members to plan and offer teacher training retreats highlighted by the retired teacher dinner that brings former teachers, current teachers and up and coming teachers together for an evening of fellowship.
Don Michael, who was West Virginia State Ag Ed Specialist and State FFA Advisor for 30 years, has been very impressed with Shannon Boswell, describing her as “an aggressive go-getter, who is good at planning and implementing new projects, and enjoys being on the cutting edge”.
Shannon Boswell comes to Montana at a time when Montana faces a serious need for skilled workers, resulting in the State Legislature increasing support for high school Career and Technical Education programs. In the past 10 years, the number of Montana High School that offer Ag Education classes has grown dramatically, from about 75 to over 90. The number of FFA members has also grown to record numbers, both in Montana and nationwide.
Boswell told Northern Ag Network that she is excited to begin working with Montana’s Ag Ed team to help promote and advance Montana’s agriculture education.
T. J. Eyer, Division Administrator for Career, Adult, and Technical Education at the Montana Office of Public Instruction expects her to be officially on the OPI staff in Helena by mid-summer.