Concerns Raised To BOE Over Open Ag Teacher Position at SCHS

The Stephens County School System says it is working on hiring someone to fill an open agriculture teacher position at Stephens County High School.

That comes in response to concerns expressed at Tuesday’s Stephens County Board of Education meeting.

Mark Wilkinson addressed the school board on behalf of the Stephens County Farm Bureau and the agriculture community.

He told the board they were concerned that the ag teacher position that is open had not been filled yet.

Wilkinson stressed the importance of agriculture to Stephens County.

He said agriculture and agriculture education are vital to the county’s future.

“We need to teach kids where the jobs are at and the jobs are in agriculture,” said Wilkinson.

Wilkinson said agriculture is not just an important part of Stephens County’s economy, but Georgia’s as a whole.

“Agriculture, the Governor has on more than one occasion, will tell you it is our number one industry in the state of Georgia,” said Wilkinson. “Would you rather be exporting poultry or getting it from China?”

Wilkinson said while the budget may be tight, the school system cannot afford to not fill the ag teacher position.

Board of Education Chair Dr. Elizabeth Pinkerton said the position is in the process of being filled.

“There is no reason why we would not hire (an ag teacher),” said Dr. Pinkerton. “We are totally supportive of this program.”

Wilkinson said their concern in part has come about because of the time it has taken to fill the position.

“They need to be on the job now,” said Wilkinson. “We have been talking about this for months. We have kids that have projects that go on year round. They are raising hogs, showing goats, and they need their teacher year round.”

The Stephens County School System said interviews have been scheduled to talk to candidates about the job.