“We have had approximately 75 students come through the program in the past nine years and only two that have not completed,” Peake said. “We’re looking at a 97 percent completion rate, which is great. Once they graduate, our job placement rate is above 95 percent. That is a big deal.” “That is good money for a 22-year-old starting their career,” Peake said. It is also one of the best paying jobs a new college graduate will find. Starting salaries for first-year ag teachers, with a bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate, are about $45,000 in Georgia. “Take April Richards,” Peake said. “Relocation would be difficult for her. April is married with a family, and they have a family farm, so she became a science teacher in Tift County. It’s not exact job placement, but it’s close to her field. It is still education … it’s still teaching … her students benefit from her ability to connect science with real world agriculture and increase ag-literacy.”No summers off Ag ed program in Tifton growingWhile agriculture education programs lack teachers, Peake has seen a steady increase in students in the agricultural program at the UGA Tifton campus. Nine years ago, five students were enrolled in Tifton. Last year, there were 15 graduates. Fourteen more will graduate this May. Those in agricultural education are also quick to discover their positions aren’t like other teaching jobs. Ag teachers have a 12-month contract. They consult with students in their school’s agricultural programs throughout the summer.It’s not uncommon for some teachers to have between 120 and 180 students in their program, and they work extended days — meaning an additional hour of work each day after school. They serve as advisors for their local FFA chapters, attending livestock shows and conventions and spending many weekends on the road. “The last research we conducted shows Georgia still has a shortage of agriculture teachers, and that trend has continued for the past 30 years,” Peake said. “Teaching agriculture is a way of life, not just a job,” Peake said. “It’s been a good way of life for me and many of my students. If you love it, it’s the best job you can ever have.” Peake would like to see the numbers increase in years to come. He’d like to grow the program to produce 20 new ag education graduates each spring. That’s the dilemma facing leaders in ag education, like Jason Peake, associate professor, and Diana King, assistant professor, at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environment Sciences on the Tifton campus.A 30-year trend “The state of Georgia demands high-quality teachers,” Peake said. “We’re producing a good, quality product. But I would like to see some competition for the positions that exist. When your job placement is that high, it’s great; you feel good about it. The other side of that coin is, should there be some competition for those jobs? I would like to see Georgia have a few extra agriculture teachers each year instead of scrambling to fill positions.” Many factors contribute to the deficit, Peake said. Employees are not staying in the same position for 30 years anymore. Peake estimates 50 percent of Georgia’s agriculture teachers either move or leave the profession within the first five years. Other factors include geographical limitations. Many graduates, who are trained as agriculture teachers, aren’t able to relocate. However, Peake points out that if agriculture and children are your passions, this is the profession for you. For more information on the ag-teaching program, visit www.caes.uga.edu/campus/tifton. First-year agricultural education teachers are earning an annual salary of $45,000. So why is there a shortage of these teachers around the state?
‘It pains us to say no’: Church refuses to marry Kāpiti coupleStuff co.nz 25 September 2017A same-sex couple have been refused a church wedding … Saunders contacted St Peter’s Anglican Church to book the wedding… She believed the local priest and congregation were not opposed to the marriage, but the Anglican Church’s national rules forbade it. They then turned to St James’ Church in the town, run by the multi-denominational Kapiti Uniting Parish, which initially agreed, but later refused because of opposition within the congregation. They were also told it was because of problems with earthquake-proofing at the church. The couple are now scrambling to find a new venue in time for the December wedding – at which St James minister the Rev Cornelia Grant, a Methodist, has said she will officiate.… Archdeacon Julie Rokotakala, vicar of the Kāpiti Anglican parish, said the nationwide church rules “currently uphold Christian marriage as a union of a man and a woman”. Priests were not allowed to officiate same-sex marriages. “Some would indeed view this as a form of discrimination, and it must feel discriminatory to the couple … the priest to whom the inquiry was directed initially sought to convey both her frustration that the church is where it is, and her concern for the couple.” Rokotakala said “it pains many of us in this province” that slow decision-making on changes came at a cost to people waiting to be treated as full members of the church. However, she added, “a decision to ignore these rules could result in disciplinary action against a clergy person”. Grant said the Kāpiti Uniting Parish did not feel “100 per cent happy” about the wedding, which could have split the three denominations it represents. The church was also earthquake-prone and, with about 120 guests expected, she had safety concerns. The church still holds Sunday services for smaller numbers. Grant said Presbyterians in the parish were “100 per cent” opposed to the wedding in the church.… Chairman of the parish council Sydney Mepham said there would be no marriages in the church while it did not meet earthquake standards. A spokeswoman for the Human Rights Commission said that, under law, people getting married could not demand a celebrant or clergy member conduct their service. A minister was not obliged to perform a marriage if it contravened the beliefs of the religious body to which he or she belonged. “While we can’t comment specifically on individual cases, anyone who believes they have been discriminated against is able to contact our inquiries and complaints team to talk through their options.”READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/weddings/97206722/it-pains-us-to-say-no-church-refuses-to-marry-kpiti-couple
BACOLOD City – Mayor Evelio Leonardiaand Police Colonel Henry Biñas, the director of the Bacolod City Police Office(BCPO), agreed there is a need to impose a total gun ban during the MassKaraFestival month of October. Also, according to Espino, a gun ban“does not diminish the actual threat or imminent danger on the life of a personpermitted by law to carry a firearm…” The 40th MassKara Festival will openon Oct. 7. In an approved resolution authored byCouncilor Al Victor Espino, it stressed that while “it is the policy of theState to maintain peace and order and protectpeople against violence, the State also recognizes the right of its qualifiedcitizens to self-defense through, when it is the reasonable means to repelunlawful aggression under the circumstances, the use of firearms.” The word “MassKara” is a portmanteau,coined by the late artist Ely Santiago from mass(a multitude of people), and the Spanish word cara (face), thus forming MassKara(a multitude of faces). It also stressed that it is easier totract and apprehend gun-licensed citizens than those who illegally possess orcarry loose firearms. The gun ban, according to the SPresolution, only restricts gun-licensed citizens and not those who illegallypossess or carry firearms. Bacolod City is gearing up to celebrate its world-renowned MassKara Festival on Oct. 18. The term “MassKara” is a coined word that means a multitude or mass of happy faces. SIGRIDSAYS.COM However, the Sangguninag Panlungsoddisagreed. The word is also a pun on maskara, Filipino for “mask” (itselffrom Spanish máscara), since it is aprominent feature of the festival and are always adorned with smiling faces,giving rise to Bacolod being called the “City of Smiles.”/PN Festival sites include the BacolodPublic Plaza, the Lacson Tourism Strip and the Bacolod Government Center. This year’s festivities, with the theme “Bacolod, City of Smiles,”will run until Oct. 27.