Reta Yanik Selected for National Agriculture Teacher Program

Reta Yanik

NEW ORLEANS —  Reta Yanik, agricultural educator at Westwood High School in Mesa, Ariz., is one of 19 individuals nationwide who was selected to participate in the 2015 XLR8 Institute, which kicked off at the National Association of Agricultural Educators’ annual convention in New Orleans on November 17.

XLR8 is a program to help agriculture teachers who have been in the classroom between seven and 15 years address common issues that lead to them leaving the profession, such as burnout, work/life balance, and stagnant professional growth.

Selected participants engaged in intensive professional development sessions at the NAAE Convention that focus on setting priorities, finding their own work-life balance, and moving their careers and agriculture programs forward over the next several years. This year’s cohort will continue their experience throughout the upcoming year with virtual learning experiences, online collaboration through the NAAE professional learning community, Communities of Practice, and by connecting through a variety of social media tools.

The goal is not only to retain XLR8 participants in the teaching profession, but to give them the tools to help other mid-career teachers. The XLR8 program is sponsored by CSX as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.

NAAE is the professional organization in the United States for agricultural educators.  It provides its’ nearly 8,000 members with professional networking and development opportunities, professional liability coverage, and extensive awards and recognition programs. The mission of NAAE is “professionals providing agricultural education for the global community through visionary leadership, advocacy and service.”  The NAAE headquarters are in Lexington, Ky.