KING CITY — King City High School agriculture teacher Lauren Peterson has been named this year’s Region 1 winner of the National Association of Agricultural Educators’ Outstanding Young Member Award, which recognizes agriculture teachers nationwide for their exceptional civic and professional leadership.

“Winning this award is an honor, and I am extremely humbled,” Peterson said. “To me this award proves that I am doing what I am supposed to do in life. There are times when I have a tough day that I wonder if teaching is really what I am supposed to do, and this award proves to me that it is.”

Peterson, 30, a member of the California Agricultural Teachers’ Association, has been teaching agriculture at King City High for the past four years. Prior to this, she taught for two years at Gonzales High School. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, where she grew up.

“What I enjoy most about teaching is the interaction with the students and sharing my passion of agriculture with the students,” Peterson said. “I enjoy using hands-on experiences to help enhance student learning. There is something so special when you see a student have a ‘lightbulb moment.’”

Last year she was one of a select group of agriculture teachers to receive the 2016 Teachers Turn the Key professional development scholarship from the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE), an organization with more than 8,000 members whose mission is “professionals providing agricultural education for the global community through visionary leadership, advocacy and service.”

According to the NAAE, the Outstanding Young Member Award is a “means of encouraging young teachers to remain in the profession and to recognize their participation in professional activities.”

Peterson will be presented with the award — sponsored by John Deere as a special project of the National FFA Foundation — at the NAAE annual conference in December in Nashville, Tenn.

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