California Department of Education Update, January 2020

By: Charles Parker, California Department of Education, State FFA Advisor

Before I delve into my article for the new year, I want to formally welcome JessaLee Goehring as the North Coast Region Supervisor. JessaLee is a product of the FFA, having earned her American FFA Degree as a member of the Lodi FFA Chapter. She completed her credential work at Fresno State and her master’s at Chico State. JessaLee has taught at Patterson HS, Lodi HS and most recently at Galt HS. She received her Teacher of Excellence in 2013 and served as the Central Region President in 2017. Please join me in welcoming JessaLee as the North Coast Region Supervisor.

I would also like to take a moment to thank the North Coast teachers for their support in this transition. Although not ideal, I truly believe that the changes have created a staff that has a unique set of skills and talents that will benefit teachers and students.

2019 was most certainly a year to remember. For many it was a year with personal achievements while others saw their professional goals being met, and for some, it was a year that they will quickly want to forget.

For me, it was most certainly a mix bag. In February 2019, I was honored to be selected to serve as the Program Manager for Agricultural Education. Upon assuming the role, as with any new position, I quickly realized how much I needed to learn. It was fortunate that we had, and still have, friends on the fifth floor. These individuals have made it clear they wish to support Agricultural Education and the FFA. This support has allowed us to move forward with new staff and a new focus on helping teachers and students.

Although there have been many bumps in the road, some that were paved over quickly and others that were much deeper, the team that has been assembled has worked together to meet each new challenge. As we move into 2020, it will undoubtedly be a year with new opportunities for success and continued challenges to stay relevant. 

Some of the goals will include:

  1. Establishment of a committee to finalize changes in the Agricultural Education Incentive Grant which will be implemented in June 2021.
  2. Development of middle grade agriculture curriculum with the work of the Vision 2030 committee.
  3. Work with the FFA Advisory Committee to ensure that our programs and awards are meeting the needs of our diverse population.
  4. Partner with other like organizations in delivering agricultural education K-Adult.

Teachers will be called upon to help in not only addressing the goals listed, but in helping with other important topics that arise. It is through this support that we will be able to continue to stay on the cutting edge of education and provide our students with the skills necessary to be successful.

Be on the lookout for the next opportunity to serve. That may come at State Conference as a delegate committee advisor or as a member of the committee that will be reviewing AET. When that opportunity arises, I look forward to your participation and ideas.

2019 will go down in the history books as an extremely successful year for California FFA and Agricultural Education. But, with a full staff and quality teachers, I am excited for what lies ahead in 2020. 

For more information about the California Agricultural Teachers’ Association, visit


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