Monday, April 21, 2014

Doug Masser (@MasserD), #psuaged12: New Agriscience Teacher at Pequea Valley!

Doug Masser, new teacher at Pequea Valley!  
Doug Masser (@MasserD), a 2012 Penn State honors graduate, has been busy since leaving Penn State! He will complete his Master of Science in Agriculture Education at the University of Idaho in the summer 0f 2014 with research focusing on describing agriculture program supporters and their roles in agriculture education programs, effective teaching strategies and coaching behaviors of CDE coaches. His activity caught the eye of Pequea Valley High School and their current senior agriscence teacher, Mr. Clair Witwer enough to hire Doug to be a part of their agriscience team for the next school year!

Doug has always been interested in agriculture. Growing up in Pitman, PA (located in Schuylkill County), he helped a lot on his family’s fruit and vegetable farm. Whether he was on the farm or out in the woods exploring the ponds, trees, and streams near his house, it made him develop a sincere passion for agriculture. He attended Tri-Valley Jr/Sr. High School where he met one of his mentors, Gretchen Dingman, a Penn Sate AEE Alum, who was his agriculture teacher for 5 years. After completing high school, he knew that he wanted to go to school for Agriculture Extension and Education. “ I believe that agricultural education provides the best model for teaching students and from my experiences, nothing is more rewarding than watching your students grow professionally, as leaders, and personally and lead successful lives. It is because of the great students I will get to work with that makes me excited to teach ag!” 
Doug at a teacher conference with
other great PA Teachers!

Clair Witwer (the current teacher at Pequea Valley) is excited on adding on a second teacher to their Ag Science and Technology Department. Mr. Witwer stated, "I am very excited to have someone of Doug's caliber coming to Pequea Valley. I have been a single teacher department for most of my career and I am looking forward to having someone to help. As we entered into the interviews, we were looking for someone who shared the philosophy of the department and the district. As we went through that process, it became very obvious that Doug was the fit we were looking for." 

Pequea Valley currently has 135 students studying agriscience, but the addition of the new teacher, plus new courses that they will be able to provide, will increase their numbers to 300 students! Pequea Valley also has been awarded as Distinguished School from Apple. 

Doug is excited to have a school that focuses on Agriscience and Agricultural Mechanics. Since they are both different topics, they can bring in a variety of students to be a part of their program. Doug states, “He has done a tremendous job building the program there, and together we both can continue growing the program and including new classes. I am excited to work with Clair on expanding the Agriscience Fair participation of our students and to infuse my strengths in plant science and leadership into the program.”
As far as their facilities go, they have a 24X40 greenhouse, two agriscience classrooms equipped with the hoods, water, gas, etc., to conduct hands on labs in many classes, they have a huge agricultural mechanics laboratory, and an area for aquaculture! Doug has endless possibilities that he can take advantage of because of what the school has to offer!

Doug at the University of Idaho!
Through everything , Doug remembers Penn State as his beginning point in his educational career. "Penn State provided me with the opportunities to become an effective teacher. Whether it was formal classes, workshops, or Ag Teacher conferences, the teacher educators at Penn State (Dr. Foster, Dr. Ewing, and Laura Sankey Rice) modeled what it means to be a great teacher. They also inspired me to work hard to make a difference in the lives of students. I know that the skills and experiences I gained at Penn State prepared me to be a successful agriculture teacher."
Doug’s Penn State and University of Idaho family wish him well as he starts another milestone in his life! In the future we hope to check back in with him and see how much he has progressed at Pequea Valley High School. Congratulations Doug Masser!

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!

Olivia Murphy-Sweet

Student Blogger
Teach Ag! Avenger

Twitter Handle @OSweetMurph
2016 Agricultural Education Student Teacher 

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