Payson teacher honored with WGEM Golden Apple Award - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Payson teacher honored with WGEM Golden Apple Award

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High school agriculture programs are often times one of the first things to go when it comes to school budget cuts.  But that's not the case at Payson High, where the ag teacher has dedicated more than 30 years to educating Tri-State teens on the importance of the business. 

Barry Eidson was shocked when we interrupted his FFA meeting to honor him with a WGEM Golden Apple Award.  His students were on their feet for the man who has been teaching agriculture education at Payson High School his entire career.
    
"I had one interview and one job in 33 years,"  Eidson said.

Mr. Eidson has been teaching ag and serving as the FFA advisor ever since he began teaching.  The Adams County native always knew he wanted to teach students the variety of topics ag has to offer.  

"We teach a little of everything.  From food science, to meats and animals," Eidson said.  "We also do the business side of ag and the mechanic side.
 
So it's very well rounded.  Never a boring day in an ag class."

Mr. Eidson's class isn't confined to a traditional classroom either.  From working with students in the high school's shop, to lessons on the farm and FFA events, he says ag is more than the stereotypical idea many people have about it.

"We teach life skills, which is probably the biggest part.  It's employment skills.  I get calls all summer, I need someone to work.  They don't call the English teacher, they call the ag teacher because of the life skills and the work skills."

Life and work skills Payson FFA President Luke Merritt says he wouldn't have without Mr. Eidson's guidance.

"Mr. Eidson has taught me so much," Merritt said.  "Not just things that help me in high school, but things that will help me in life."

Mr. Eidson is retiring at the end of the year and he couldn't have imagined a better way to wrap up his three decade-long teaching career.

"Every teacher thinks, I wonder if that will be me someday and of course I did too, but I didn't expect it.  So I'm very honored," Eidson said.

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