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Pioneering ag teacher finishing final year

Staff writer

Marion ag teacher and FFA adviser Mark Meyer didn’t plan to go into teaching.

He planned to go into dairy farming, as his parents did north of Burdick.

When he was studying at community college, one of his instructors suggested he go into teaching, but he didn’t change his plans until he attended Kansas State University.

“I wasn’t going to teach right up to my student teaching,” Meyer said. “I found out I really liked working with that age group.”

His entire 35-year teaching career was spent at Marion.

Meyer has taught agriscience, animal science, plant and soil science, horticulture, agribusiness, business management, ag mechanics, welding, ag fabrication, ag power and technology, mechanical systems in agriculture, technical applications in agriculture, and general science. He also coached football for 27 years.

“It’s always been about the kids,” he said.

His most memorable moments have been seeing students try, and succeed, at things they didn’t think they could do.

He also liked getting to work with his own children: Nicholas, 27, now an engineer with John Deere; Elizabeth, 24, an ag teacher at Sublette; and Cassie, 21, a senior in dietetics at K-State.

Getting involved in Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education, a group revitalizing ag education, was rejuvenating, Meyer said.

It’s also been fulfilling to work with excellent administrators, he said.

A year ago, Meyer was inducted into the Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame.

He said Friday that for his own sake, it was time to step back from teaching. He’s not sure what the future holds, because he plans to figure that out after the end of the school year.

Principal Donald Raymer said Meyer would be missed for many reasons.

He’s been a mentor to students and teachers, and loves to give back to the community, Raymer said. He’s also been an advocate for technical education.

“He’s done numerous fundraisers for charities to help local families in need,” Raymer said. “He’s done all the things to give kids a great opportunity during their high school years.

“We really appreciate the teacher and person that he is. He leaves our program in a very good place and we really appreciate everything he has done.”

Last modified Feb. 29, 2024

 

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