Each year NAAE awards new Toyota pickups for personal use to outstanding teachers in our profession. As I travel around the country, I learn about other state associations and their teachers. I am constantly reminded about how strong Oregon teachers are in comparison. We honestly have top to bottom a higher percentage of danjansenhighly qualified teachers and impressive programs in our state association.

OVATA, like other state associations struggle to have applicants for every award category offered by NAAE. Sadly, we have the quality teachers, programs, and mentors to provide outstanding applications for each category. It is important as a professional to seek these kinds of endorsements, not as validation for yourself but to reflect the investment made by your local school district toward you and your program and to reinforce the standard of excellence found in OVATA membership.

Last year the Western Region of NAAE was almost swept by Washington teachers and programs. I know we currently have last June's award winners completing their applications for May deadlines, but I wanted to prime the pump for applications for awards at this year's OVATA Summer Conference in Hood River. Every FFA district should come prepared with one applicant for each award category. The more applications received improves the level of quality over time, and puts OVATA members in a prime position to be driving new Toyota pickups to future conferences.