Something will happen on the first day of school at Southern Wells High School this year that hasn’t happened in 45 years. Steve Stauffer won’t be in the classroom! The veteran agriculture teacher with 44 years of teaching experience, all at Southern Wells, said goodbye to students when the 2017-18 school year ended. He still accompanied Southern Wells FFA members to Indiana’s state FFA convention at Purdue University. But then he called it quits.
“We’ve accomplished a lot here from where we started, and I’m proud of my students,” Stauffer says. “Teaching at our school and being FFA advisor will be a great opportunity for the next person.”
Stauffer fielded FFA teams that were competitive at both the state and national levels in many judging and leadership events over the years. He is recognized for his expertise in coaching soils judging and parliamentary procedure, which is a contest that involves FFA members learning how to conduct meetings properly.
The Indiana FFA asked some retiring ag teachers to serve as the advisor for the opening ceremonies of various sessions at the state convention. Besides Stauffer, Steve Inman was the advisor at one session, and Gary Stuckey at another.
HERE BY THE OWL: Retiring teachers were honored by being asked to be the advisor for the opening ceremonies of different sessions at the state FFA convention. Here, Steve Inman, Kankakee Valley High School, takes his turn stationed by the owl, which is the symbol for the FFA advisor.
Both Inman and Stuckey are retiring after more than three decades of teaching vocational agriculture and serving as FFA advisors. Inman retired from Kankakee Valley High School. He was known, among other things, for his expertise in raising specialty crops, including poinsettias and Easter lilies, in the school greenhouse, and helping guide other teachers in this process.
Stuckey retired from North Daviess High School, where he built an active FFA program.
According to Allen Talbert, Purdue University ag education professor, also expected to retire this year are Joe Ramey, Kevin Knies and Daryl Goodwin.
Ramey taught for decades at Central Nine Vocational Center in Greenwood. He will become the next Indiana FFA Leadership Center director, starting this summer. Knies retired from Springs Valley High School but continues in a management role. Goodwin taught at Winchester High School.