2023 CTE Teacher of the Year

Melissa Veo – Buckeye Union High School

Melissa Veo is a CASE Certified Agriculture Teacher in both AFNR (Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources) and Animal Science Curriculum and completed 80 hours professional development training for each certification They are also able to receive the Youth for the Quality Care of Animals Certification through the Animal Science Course. Melissa’s hands-on teaching has proven highly successful for ELL and ESS students.

Each year, Melissa works closely with the Buckeye FFA Alumni to ensure students learn current agriculture industry trends. Over 90% of Buckeye FFA Members participate in at least one FFA activity at the chapter level, with over 60% participating at the State Level.

Over the past 11 years, Melissa has coached over 20 state champion teams, helped students be recognized at the National Level through Proficiency Award applications, and led the chapter to receive the National FFA Three Star Chapter Award, this highest recognition a local program can receive, for eight straight years.

Every student in the chapter has a work-based learning project, where they record goals and information about the project in an online record keeping system.

Over the past 11 years, their program has grown in every way possible, and she looks forward to seeing it continue to grow to meet the ever-changing needs of agriculture and education. The Buckeye FFA Program has grown from 85 students with one ag teacher to 250 students and two full time teachers. During that growth, she has implemented recent technology and equipment to keep students learning what is currently being used in the industry.

During COVID, Melissa worked hard to determine how to reach students from home, producing many virtual options for students, including virtual chapter meetings and a “drive-thru” year-end banquet to celebrate their many accomplishments. Melissa plans a summer workshop each year to ensure the officer team is prepared for the upcoming school year.

Melissa also ran a school wide CTE Pep Assembly for the entire student body. Since starting her teaching career in 2012, she has been involved in every in-person ACTEAZ Summer Conference. She has been incredibly involved in agriculture affiliates, including AATA Fall Conferences, NAAE Region 1 Conferences and ACTE Vision and NAAE National Conferences. She has served as the AATA Leadership Chairperson, as well as the Arizona FFA Board of Directors Secretary.