GREENVILLE - Karri Stickley didn’t graduate from Greenville High School too long ago, but she’s ready to head back, this time, as their agriculture educator, she said.
Stickley graduated in 2010, and then obtained her bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University last May. It was somewhat planned, however, that she would be taking the position left vacant by John Guttadore’s retirement announcement, she said.
“It was actually planned in high school, while the program still had two instructors,” Stickley noted. “When they [the ag teachers] learned I wanted to go into ag education, it was kind of planned that when I got out of college, one of them would be retiring, and I could hopefully be their replacement.”
Stickley was a member of the Greenville FFA all four years of high school, she said, actively participating in raising dairy and market goats, as well as turkeys, on her home just outside of Greenville. FFA was a big piece for Stickley in coming out of her shell, she said, and her hopes as an ag educator is to help students do the same.
“I decided I wanted to be an educator when I was younger because I loved helping others, but going into high school I wasn’t sure what I wanted to teach,” Stickley said. “I knew I still wanted to be a teacher, though. Once I got into the ag program at Greenville, I really learned a lot about how FFA helps students. It really helped me to come out of my shell; I was very shy when I was younger.”
Stickley said she’s excited to come back to her alma mater, and looks forward to the opportunity to help others from her community. The big challenge, she said, is going to be just how close she and her students are in age, especially the senior students, she shared.
“The age difference – I’ve already had an experience, when we went to FFA Camp, some of the State FFA officers thought I was a student. So it will be a challenge to make sure people know I’m a teacher, not a student,” Stickley laughed.
Even with that challenge, Stickley looks forward to continuing FFA traditions and building new ones with her students, she said.
“I want to make sure we’re keeping some of those traditions, while being open to doing new activities, and maybe going in a slightly different direction than past ag teachers,” Stickley noted. “It’s a very important program, students learn that it’s not all about sows, cows and plows, there’s more to agriculture than that. Agriculture is such an important aspect of any community, it’s the backbone of our country. That’s how people survive, it’s how we have clothes on our backs and food in our stomachs.”