Finalists named for Golden Owl Award®

Advisor Ag Industry District Foundation News EC NC NE NW SC SE

Manhattan, Kansas – Educators devote limitless time, and often their own resources, to helping students pursue their passions. To recognize the contributions of Kansas’ leading agricultural teachers, Nationwide and the Kansas FFA Foundation are honoring seven exceptional teachers as finalists for the Golden Owl Award.

From October through December 2023, nominations were collected for the state’s top agricultural teachers from local students, parents, fellow teachers and community members across Kansas.  

Kansas’ 2023-2024 Golden Owl Award finalists are:

  • Jim Morgan, Louisburg High School, East Central District
  • Kim Clark, Royal Valley High School, Northeast District
  • John Kern, Washington High School, North Central District
  • Nikole Winter, Hays High School, Northwest District
  • Les McNally, Hugoton High School, Southwest District
  • Linda Chase, Wellington High School, South Central District
  • John Wells, Sedan High School, Southeast District

Each finalist was presented with an individualized plaque in front of fellow teachers and students and received $500. Next, they’ll be entered into a final selection stage for the chance to be named as Kansas’ Ag Educator of the Year, earning an additional $3,000 and the coveted Golden Owl Award trophy. 

“We are exceptionally proud of these educators and recognize that they have impacted hundreds of students throughout their teaching careers and have mentored many other educators along the way,” said Beth Gaines, executive director of the Kansas FFA Foundation.  “This award is a very small token of our appreciation for the contributions that they have made.”

Nationwide established the Golden Owl Award to honor the contributions of teachers and support their programs with additional resources to assist their continued educational efforts.

“As the need grows for more ag educators across the nation, we are proud to thank and honor these hardworking agricultural teachers for their dedication,” said Brad Liggett, president of Agribusiness at Nationwide. “These educators play a crucial role in preparing students for successful careers in the industry.”

In conjunction with the Golden Owl Award, Nationwide is also donating $5,000 to the Kansas FFA to further support the personal and professional growth of students, teachers and advisors alike.