Julia Putz, formerly Julia Johnson, a 1998 graduate of Payson High School, was recognized by the Arizona Agriculture Teachers Association (AATA) as the 2004 AATA First Year Teacher of the Year.
The award was presented at the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Annual Conference held in Tucson July 18-22.
Putz has been involved either directly or indirectly with agricultural education for nearly 10 years -- as an FFA member, state FFA officer, student teacher, and now as a teacher.
She graduated with honors from Central Arizona College in 2001 and Cum Laude from the University of Arizona in 2003. She just completed her first year teaching agricultural education at Coolidge High School.
Her solid applications of hands-on learning and her true dedication to her students helped her to raise enrollment in her program from 53 students to 83 students this coming year. Her accomplishments this year are numerous, and include a first place finish in state competition with her FFA Field Crop Management Team. Her CTE director said, "Several of her students got together and wrote a letter to her principal thanking him for hiring her."
Putz was a student of Wendell Stevens, agricultural education teacher at Payson High School. She is the second of Stevens' students to receive the Outstanding First Year Teacher award. Stevens was also recognized at the CTE Conference as a Teacher of Teachers. Four of Stevens' students have chosen careers as agricultural education teachers in Arizona schools.