Each year, thousands of Oklahomans reap the benefits provided by Career and Technology Education. CareerTech Champions tell the story of how individuals apply learning to become successful employees, entrepreneurs and leaders in business organizations.
Lawson Thompson – Carney Public Schools
Ag educator says students gain “purpose, preparedness, and professionalism.”
THEN: A self-described sports fanatic growing up in a small town, in a sports-minded family. Lawson Thompson aspired to play college sports, like his mom, dad and brother had done. That was before he got involved in agricultural education. In his senior year at Deer Creek-Lamont High School, Lawson decided to give up sports to dedicate his energy toward his new passion, FFA. He served as a state officer that year and went on to Oklahoma State University for a bachelor’s degree in agricultural sciences and natural resources. Lawson said devoting himself to agricultural education and FFA was one of the greatest choices of his life.
“It’s a lot more than cows, plows and sows,” he said. In FFA, Lawson developed skills he uses every day, including
- Communication – the value of clearly communicating with people of all ages in various settings, as well as public speaking.
- Leadership – how to be a better leader, mentor and role model.
- Time management – active participation in numerous ag and non-ag activities helped him learn how to manage his time.
“I utilize skills I gained from agricultural education/FFA every day,” Lawson said. “I would not be an effective educator, mentor, husband or person if I didn’t understand values such as hard work, dedication, discipline, leadership and service.”
NOW: Agricultural education instructor and FFA adviser at Carney Public Schools. Lawson’s FFA chapter was chosen as one of the top 10 chapters in the country. His students also nominated him for KFOR-TV’s Thankful 4 Teachers award, and he was one of the top 10 nominees in the state. Sponsor Air Comfort Solutions recognized Lawson with a $5,000 check.
“I strongly believe that if an employer interviews a candidate who came through any one of CareerTech’s eight student organizations (FFA, FCCLA, HOSA, DECA, TSA, BPA, SkillsUSA or NTHS) and one who did not, that candidate who was a CTSO member will get the job 10 times out of 10.”
Lawson Thompson, agricultural education instructor
(former Oklahoma FFA state officer, former Oklahoma CareerTech ag education intern)