Santa Maria High School’s agricultural education program is the best in the state.
That, like the California Agricultural Teachers Association, ranks No. 1 as the 2021 CATA Advanced Agricultural Education Program.
The latest virtual recognition was unveiled at the CATA Summer Conference.
In addition to the celebrated program, Shannon Paul, who taught for 12 years (nine at Santa Maria High School), was selected as a CATA teacher. This award is based on professional and student activities, community engagement, and teacher placement in the classroom.
St. Agg’s program is ranked No. 1 in classroom, experience education, FFA student organization and leadership development, community partnership and teacher professional development.
To receive this honor, the Department of Agriculture submitted the application to CATA, after which a committee of agricultural educators from California counted it.
Santa Maria FAA is the largest state in California and has 340 agricultural education programs. During the 2020-2021 school year, the program had 10 agricultural teachers serving 1,087 students enrolled in 49 agricultural courses.
The current chair of the Department of Agriculture is Mark Paul, Mark Debernardy, Luis Gurara, Clemente Iyon, Melissa Florie, Amanda Rodriguez, Shannon Paul, Sarah Arajujo, Kimura Yamamoto and Michael Gurara.
The Department of Agriculture offers students five pathways, including agricultural science, ornamental plants, agricultural mechanics, animal science, and agriculture. Each street has courses designed to enable students to learn by working and interacting with our local agricultural industry.
In addition, five courses offered at Alan Hancock College allow students to receive simultaneous enrollment credit.
Each student in the agricultural program is a member of the California and National FAAA.