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Teaching Agriculture Was So Exciting, this Educator Took a Second Helping

Teaching Agriculture Was So Exciting, this Educator Took a Second Helping
Kevin Haycox, ag teacher in Dubois County, Ind., retires for real this time. Or so he says!

This is the fifth in a series on this year's retiring ag teachers. Read about Pat Redden, Cambridge City; Don Sturgeon, Hagerstown; Beth Theobold, Delphi; and John Jackson, Martinsville, in earlier stories.

Kevin Haycox hails from a town in Crawford County that's even smaller than English. He didn't let that stop him from playing on a big stage. He graduated college and became the vo-ag instructor at Jasper High School. He's been there 40 years.

Officially, he retired from full-time teaching five years ago. He had the retirement party and the full nine yards. But when school officials convinced him to come back and teach half-time, he came back. Some things are in your blood.

Retire for real: Kevin Haycox retired as ag teacher at Jasper High School once before. This time he's retiring from the same school, and says it's for good this time. (Photo provided.)

This time Haycox says he's retiring for real. This past year he taught 50 students and was FFA advisor at Jasper High School. "It's time to travel some and help my children," he says. "Some of them could use a helping hand and I'm ready to do that for them."

His best memories of his time in teaching are the students that he believes he motivated. "I believe I gave them food for thought and maybe made them see things a bit differently," he says. "That's probably my biggest accomplishment in my teaching career."

Related: Many Ag Teachers Stay Put Once They Find A Good Fit

There is a teacher shortage and with a part-time program, it might have seemed natural for the Jasper Schools to phase out agriculture, even though Dubois County is still a strong agricultural region.

However, Haycox says current and former students, plus others, made a case to the school to keep the program. They wanted kids coming after them to have the same experience to grow as they did.

School officials agreed, and decided to keep the program. It will still be part-time. They will likely hire someone who can receive a special teaching license due to the teacher shortage.

"I hope the new person comes in with enthusiasm and the program grows and continues," Haycox concludes, leaving after so many years in the classroom.

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