A Houston High School graduate who teaches in Seymour has been honored for her role in community service.
Tiffany Kauffman, an agricultural educator and FFA advisor, was named as a recipient of the 2017 ACTE Region III Carl Perkins Community Service Award. The award “recognizes individuals who have used CTE to make a significant impact on their community and demonstrated leadership in programs and activities that promote student involvement in community service.”
Kauffman, a 1998 HHS graduate, is one of five finalists for the 2018 national title. The winner will be announced at the ACTE Awards Banquet, a dinner and award presentation recognizing the best CTE educators in the country on Dec. 6 in Nashville, Tenn.
Over the span of 15 years, Kauffman has brought her passion for agricultural advocacy and community service to four schools across different counties in Missouri. At each of the schools, she launched a myriad of service projects such as: adopt-a-family programs, trash pick-up along highways, food pantry volunteering, canned food drives, recycling programs, pulling weeds for the elderly, cleaning the town museum and Friends Against Hunger food-packing sessions.
Kauffman currently teaches agricultural education and advises the FFA chapter at Seymour R-II School, where her chapter members each have the opportunity to volunteer more than 50 hours a year, often in partnership with other career and technical student organizations. Seymour’s FFA chapter organizes the annual Consignment Sale, an auction for traditional farm and horse-drawn equipment, which attracts more than 1,000 attendees each year including large segments of the local Amish population. The chapter also hosts various games, sales and educational activities at Seymour’s Apple Festival. Under Kauffman’s leadership, Seymour’s FFA chapter activities have garnered them recognition as a Model of Innovation in the Chapter Division, Gold Emblem chapter recognition in Missouri, and 3-Star chapter recognition at the national level.
Kauffman has served on various statewide committees and as an officer for the Missouri Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association, has presented at various conferences and won numerous awards for her educational leadership and innovations. Kauffman mentors new teachers, plans annual and regular social events for teachers and actively recruits female agricultural education instructors to balance the primarily male-dominated discipline. She has taken on service projects of her own from running charity drives to maintaining community landscapes to volunteering for various fair boards in planning and hosting livestock shows.
Michael Kyle, a small business-owner in Seymour, says Kauffman “loves people, works hard and always tries to lift the spirits of those around her.”