Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Kyle Norman, 2006 PSU Alumnus, and Brockway Agriscience Teacher finalist for Teacher of the Year Award

Kyle Normal helps his students dissect
a ruminant digestive system
Kyle Norman from Brockway High School, is nominated for this year’s Teacher of the Year award, and has made it into the top 12 so far! He graduated from Penn State in 2006 from the Penn State Agricultural Education Teacher Preparation program. He has been teaching for seven years, with his first year at Central Mountain in Lock Haven and his past six years at Brockway High School. Three other teachers in his school have been previously nominated for the award; they must be doing something right!

His preparation for education started while he was in high school. Kyle had some great teachers in high school but his ag teachers, Mr. Kennis, Mr. Way, and Mrs. Carr really stood out. They gave him the inspiration to become an ag teacher and the background knowledge that he would need to be successful in college. Penn State helped him with teaching by requiring him to take a wide range of classes, giving him a good range of knowledge to adapt to different topics and situations that occur in a high school setting. His professors at Penn State also helped to inspire him to continue with his career goals, especially Dr. Scanlon, his adviser, who helped keep him on the right path. To continue growing as a great teacher, Kyle keeps up with his professional development by taking college classes to earn his masters degree and he continues to take courses beyond the degree requirements. He also attends workshops when they are offered at SLLC and other FFA activities.
Brockway agriscience students constructing a  high tunnel

At Brockway, his class sizes could be considered small, ranging from about 7 students to as large as 16. Sixteen students in one class are the largest he can have as per the recommendation of  his local program advisory committee. Mr. Norman's classes are structured in the the traditional format of  ag 1, ag 2, ag 3, and ag 4. In those classes, he focuses on different topics including animal science, horticulture, small gas engines, forestry, wildlife, electrical, wood working, welding and other topics that his students find interesting. He tried to build in a little time in each class to directly address his students interests. If they are really interested in a topic, he will take extra time to go more in-depth with it. Kyle goes above and beyond in the classroom by teaching engaging in hands on lessons like dissecting the digestive tract of a cow and teaching students how to use a GPS system by having them geocaching in their area. GPS systems are being used more and more in agriculture today such as in planting and fertilizing, especially out west. His program also operates a greenhouse and hi tunnel, as well as starting and running a local farmers market.
Brockway Agriscience Programs Greenhouse

Kyle finds the other teachers at his school that have been nominated inspiring. He says that they are great teachers, and great people. They always put the students ahead of themselves and are always working to better themselves, their classroom and Brockway. With technology changing, they are always looking for ways to integrate new technologies, experiences, and teaching methods into their classroom. He looks to them for guidance and support throughout the whole nomination and award process.

Kyle feels very fortunate to work in Brockway with amazing teachers, administrators and staff. He said the feeling of being nominated for teacher of the year is surreal. “There are about 500 school districts in Pennsylvania and just to be nominated is an honor, but to make it to the top 12 is unbelievable. My program is not all that different from the other agricultural programs in the state. I truly believe that any ag teacher in the state of Pennsylvania could be in the top 12!”
Mr. Norman's students release pheasants
with the game commission

A video can be found here, showing Kyle Norma with his students. It was done by We Are Central PA. 

To learn more about starting on the path to having a career that makes a positive impact on the lives of students across the globe by becoming an agricultural educator, please contact the agricultural teacher education program at Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog

Jeanne Case
Student Blogger
2014 Dover HS Student Teacher
Twitter: JRose_Case

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