The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation selected two recipients for the FFA Advisor of the Year award. Jenny Kocian from David City High School and David Rocker from Franklin Public Schools were honored at the Nebraska FFA State Convention on Thursday, April 4, in Lincoln. The winning advisors received a plaque and a $1,000 donation to their FFA chapter.
The teachers were nominated by their own students and chosen based upon their school and community involvement, leadership development in their classroom, and their ability to keep their students involved in agriculture.
“Both teachers are exceptional educators, leaders, and role models for their students,” said Megahn Schafer, executive director of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation. “Not only do these teachers go above and beyond for their students, they support the future of agriculture through encouragement of FFA leaders.”
Kocian is the FFA Advisor for the David City FFA Chapter. Kocian makes her students a priority and ensures the success of her students by making connections with local businesses, farmers, and cooperatives to assist students in any career path they choose to pursue. Kocian also brings speakers into the classroom environment to introduce students to different types of agriculture. Under the direction of Kocian, one of the biggest accomplishments of this year was that a previous chapter officer, Brooke Belle, was elected to the Nebraska FFA State Officer Team.
Rocker has been the FFA Advisor for Franklin FFA Chapter for 33 years. Because of his dedication and leadership, the Franklin FFA Chapter is highly regarded in South Central Nebraska. Rocker works with fellow teachers to create learning opportunities to teach young people about agriculture. Through various programs and activities that Rocker leads, Franklin Public School students learn about agriculture and how it is important in their rural communities.
“I think every student has a talent – whether it’s welding, science, business, or mechanical – things not in a normal classroom,” Rocker said. “In agricultural education you get to seek out those strengths and build the student’s confidence in something they can have success in for the rest of their lives.”
“We had a number of exceptional nominations this year. All of the FFA advisors nominated make a positive difference every day,” Schafer said. “They invest in the students who are the future of our great state, and we are proud to celebrate their service.”