Teacher Spotlight: Jonathan Riggs
The North Carolina Soybean Producers Association would like to congratulate Jonathan Riggs of Farmville Central High School for winning the NCSPA Teacher Appreciation Week Award. Jonathan Riggs received not one, but four nominations from students and peers vouching for the quality of both his work ethic and his character. After meeting with Mr. Riggs, it is easy to understand why his students think so highly of him. Mr. Riggs is the kind of teacher who cares less about quantitative performance metrics, and more about his students understanding of the subject material and the life skills they develop. As an agricultural and animal science teacher, Mr. Riggs wants his students to be the most informed purchasers in the grocery store!
Mr. Riggs has been an educator for 6 years. He received a degree in Animal Science from North Carolina State University. His immediate family may not currently be farmers, but his great, great grandfather was the first to produce soybeans in Pitt County. Mr. Riggs has implemented many special projects in his agricultural education programs to foster hands-on learning with his students. He recently initiated the production of high tunnels in the plot of land outside of his classroom, so that students can produce commodities important to North Carolina, including soybeans. He brings his work home with him and opens his personal farm so students can tend to the goats and practice showing them for regional competitions. He also has brought multiple rabbits to the classroom to teach the students about animal care and genetics.
Mr. Riggs goes above and beyond, working well outside his contracted hours to give his students every opportunity he can. The best thing about this exemplary educator, however, is how much he cares about the well-being of his students. In the words of his peers, “He makes everyone feel included and checks up on anyone who looks like they’re having a bad day”. Though we could only have one winner, each nominee for this award was well-deserving. Thank you to our North Carolina educators for always going above and beyond the call of duty. The NCSPA is always available for classroom visits or to help with other special projects. Please do not hesitate to reach out!