Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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Henningfeld wins award

January 01, 2009

Charlotte, N.C. — Big Foot High School agriculture teacher Richard Henningfeld is one of six individuals who received the National Association of Agricultural Educators Outstanding Young Member Award Dec. 3 at the NAAE annual conference.

Henningfeld has taught agriculture at Big Foot High School since 2006, and taught at Janesville Craig High School from 2005 to 2006. He lives in Delavan.

"It is important to give students ownership in the curriculum and classroom environment. Developing curriculum around student interest fosters intrinsic motivation and stimulates the passion to learn," Henningfeld said.

This philosophy has helped him develop agricultural curriculums that utilize several learning modalities.

Since Henningfeld's start at Big Foot, the FFA membership has grown by 50 percent.

This past NAAE Teachers Turn the Key Award recipient has worked with his cooperating teacher, Lisa Konkel, to develop a well-balanced agricultural education program.

In his courses, students are encouraged to become involved in the FFA and to maintain a quality supervised agricultural experience program.

This concept has been successful, with three students winning state proficiency awards.

The FFA chapter has also been recognized as the National Model of Innovation Award Winner in the area of student development for incorporating the most outstanding and innovative student development programming in the nation.

Henningfeld is well respected in the agricultural education profession for his work beyond the local level.

During his college years, he worked as a facilitator for the National FFA Organization for the International Leadership Seminar for State FFA Officers, BLAST Off (Building Lasting and Strong Teams of Officers), Washington Leadership Conference and as a workshop presenter at the National FFA Convention.

"He is an inspiring teacher, a model mentor for high school students, and a caring compassionate young man," Big Foot District Administrator Dorothy Kaufmann said. "As a teacher, he engages students in meaningful activities, spends endless hours involved with students in FFA activities and makes a powerful difference in each student's life."

Each of the six regional award winners received a plaque, cash award, expense paid trip to attend the annual NAAE conference, and an invitation to a reception held in their honor. John Deere sponsors the Outstanding Young Member Award as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.

NAAE is the professional association for agricultural educators.

Its mission is "professionals providing agricultural education for the global community through visionary leadership, advocacy and service."