Victoria Mohon, an agriculture teacher at Christian County High School, helps her students work on both their strengths and weaknesses, as well as providing support for them beyond high school.
The students in her classroom are from varying backgrounds. Recognizing that some students have no experience in agriculture while others have a great deal, Mohon makes it her job to connect each student to the content and show them the relevancy of agriculture in their everyday lives.
In Mohon’s Agriculture Construction Skills class, students are assigned a woodworking project where they are split into committees. Since each committee emphasizes different skills, students can demonstrate their strong points while working in areas they are not as comfortable with by pairing with other committees. The Budgeting Committee, for example, requires students to apply their math skills, while the Blueprint Committee focuses more on writing. Her intention is to provide students with the opportunity to use practical skills like budgeting and public speaking that will benefit them throughout their lives.
Mohon is involved in Colonel Commitment Day, a schoolwide event that allows juniors and seniors to explore their college and career options. Students also can attend workshops that help with soft skills, like creating a resume, dressing for interviews, learning etiquette and filing taxes.
Mohon’s role is to coordinate with agricultural businesses to set up a booth or workshop. She includes her students by assigning them the tasks of making event flyers, calling businesses and organizing supplies for the booths.
This event has influenced the choices of many of Mohon’s students. Fifteen have pursued a degree in agriculture and at least 12 obtained an agricultural job in the community. This year, she hopes to survey all seniors post-graduation to determine the entirety of the event’s impact.
Mohon encourages her students to continue their education outside of the classroom. Students in the Ag Power pathway use the agriculture mechanics lab to work with carpentry, welding, plumbing and metalwork. With these skills, the students take on a project every year, such as offering maintenance for outdoor equipment like lawn mowers and leaf blowers. This project gives students the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge while also participating in community service.
Mohon, who was named a 2023 Kentucky Teacher Achievement Award winner, is passionate about advocating for whatever a student wants to do after graduation. She recognizes each student has their own strengths that guide them to different pathways. In the classroom, she integrates content to help students in all pathways achieve their goals.
For instance, students who plan to major in animal science are engaged in lessons about animal nutrition, while agriculture construction students may practice skills that are more necessary in the workplace or trade school. It is Mohon’s hope to demonstrate that any of these pathways are valuable, respectable and attainable.
To support students and the path they choose, Mohon has believes that educators should do three things.
“Keep giving, gaining and growing” she said.
Mohon says that as educators, it’s their job to continue their work until they see gains in each student. She knows success doesn’t come easy, so she makes sure her students understand that failure is an opportunity for growth, not a reason to be discouraged
Mohon’s advice to Kentucky teachers and students would be “hope to inspire them to give all their strength, to gain in their weaknesses and strive for continual growth.”