One local school administrator was recently recognized for their dedication to the agriculture industry.
Grandview High School Principal Kirby Basham won the Outstanding Administrator Award by the Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association of Texas on Tuesday in Corpus Christi.
The VATAT is a professional organization for ag science teachers and supporters that informs members about the latest ag education practices, encourages higher standards of teaching and provides a unified voice in the state legislature, according to its website.
Basham said he was proud to be able to represent GVHS and be honored by the organization.
“Agriculture is a vital part of not just our local economy but also globally, and it is imperative that we prepare our ag students to be successful in such an important and ever changing vocation as agriculture,” he said.
He is a GVHS alum and said they have an outstanding ag program because they have been blessed with teachers like Herb Lubke, Larry Woolley, Randy Looper, Jimmy Key and Paige Melton.
“This past year we won the district sweepstakes award and finished third out of 88 schools in the area standings in leadership, judging and speaking contests,” Basham said. “These contests are not broken down by school size, so I feel as though it is quite an accomplishment for a school of our size to be able to attain such success.”
They have over 100 students who participate in ag with about 250 entries at the Johnson County Junior Livestock Show and Youth fair last year.
“Despite being the second smallest school, we had the second most entries and accounted for about a third of the sale projects with the average student making about $2,600,” he said.
He was nominated for the award by GVHS ag teacher Jimmy Key.
“Since I arrived in Grandview in 2016, Mr. Basham has shown tremendous support for our program,” Key said. “I feel like he has gone beyond the normal support and recognition of the students by really wanting to learn about the program and how he can help support and foster the growth of the program.
“Over the last three years he has asked me countless questions on why and how we do things. His desire to understand the diversity of activities of the FFA and how he can play an integral part of the success of our kids led me to want to give him the recognition that I feel he deserves, not just from us locally but at the state level.”
The VATAT has several award categories, Key said, so when a members finds someone they feel should be recognized they fill out the application.
“It is first presented at the district convention along any other that may be submitted,” he said. “A committee chooses one winner in each category to advance to the area level.
“At the are level, the same process occurs where a committee chooses one nominee to receive the award. The winners are then submitted to the state, and they get recognized at our annual teachers conference.”
He said Basham is deserving of the award.
“I have been very fortunate in my career to have always had very supportive administrators,” he Key said. “However, I feel like the way Mr. Basham has really plugged in to our program deserves recognition.”
Grandview ISD Superintendent Joe Perrin said they are proud of Basham for receiving the award.
“He is a great principal who has a tremendous heart for kids and is very deserving,” Perrin said. “We are lucky to have him at Grandview ISD.”