Redland Middle School
Teachers and experiences can often define students, and Teacher of the Year award winner Wayne Worthley cites both as integral to his path in life.
High school agriculture teacher Miss Worm “changed my life forever,” Worthley said in his nomination form. “Besides teaching the value of agriculture, and how to recognize the many blessings of growing up on a farm, she taught me to be proud of ‘who I was’ and ‘where I grew up,’” which gave him confidence and inspired him to value and cherish education.
Worthley attended the University of Minnesota from 1988-1992, and graduated with a B.S. in Agriscience, and then he joined the Peace Corps and traveled to Ecuador. That experience showed him the value of education as he worked alongside the rural Quichua indigenous people, helping to advance their agricultural skills in animal husbandry and crop production. Following his Peace Corps service, Worthley was offered a ‘technical trainer’ position for new Peace Corps volunteers entering Ecuador in animal husbandry. It was while training new volunteers that he decided to become a teacher. “At the time, two trainees were U.S. teachers, and they told me that I ‘had the gift.’ I realized I did truly enjoy teaching, and it was the teachings of Miss Worm, followed by the Peace Corps experience that motivated me to become a teacher of agriculture.”
That motivation led to Worthley providing numerous extra opportunities and skills for his students, including how to write research papers in APA style, how to complete a year-long agriscience research project, and how to grow plants in the nursery where they earn hundreds of dollars (each). They even learn how to cook and prepare food and enter cooking contests. He tries to have every student compete at the state level or national level and serve as an officer of one of our two clubs (FFA & FCCLA). They get a summer USDA internship in another state (which have led to full scholarships later on), and more, but he’s most proud of the middle school-college partnership and the fact that he continues to deliver on his promise to parents of facilitating invaluable life skills and experiences to their children, not yet replicated in any other educational setting in Miami.
Raise the level of performance consistent throughout school districts nationwide and creates a platform from which all magnet schools can flourish. Magnet Schools of America’s national certification process is designed to recognize the hard work of the best magnet schools in the nation and to help them as they grow.