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Tyrone agriculture teacher receives national award

Benjamin Mordan, Tyrone, is one of 50 individuals who received the Teachers Turn the Key Award on December 2 at the National Association of Agricultural Educators annual conference in Atlanta, Ga.
Mordan has been an agricultural science instructor at Tyrone Area High School since 2004. He is known for treating his profession in education as a lifestyle rather than a career.
“This lifestyle not only includes helping my students become productive citizens, but also encouraging students to succeed in all aspects of life,” he said.
His program was visited by Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture, Dennis Wolff and was recognized for its growth and creative use of funds in the area of development and expansion.
Mordan has worked extensively to provide his students with leading technology and the best equipment and materials available. Department of Agricultural Education Associated Head at Penn State, Tracy Hoover explained, “He has been awarded a Pennsylvania Rural Youth Grant for the past two years and has used the $5,000 award money to fund several expansion and renovation projects around his department.”
Through donations, fundraisers and the awarded grant money, Mordan has been able to add several new units to his curriculum, as well as content application activities. He also incorporated his students into the planning of construction projects and budgeting of funds.
“Through both the construction and implementation of the projects, my students learned a great deal about planning, financing and managing,” he explained.
Each of the state winners received a plaque and a travel scholarship to cover all expenses to attend the annual conference in Atlanta. Dodge Division and the DaimlerChrysler Corporation sponsor the NAAE Teachers Turn the Key Award program.
NAAE is the professional association for agricultural educators. The mission of NAAE is “professionals providing agricultural education for the global community through visionary leadership, advocacy and service.” The NAAE office is located on the University of Kentucky campus in Lexington, Ky.