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McPherson Named National Safety Educator of the Year

Richard McPherson, Rio Rico High School CTE Agriculture Science Teacher, was awarded the 2017 CareerSafe National Safety Educator of the Year award at the recent Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) CareerTech Vision Conference in Nashville, TN.

The award recognizes exceptional educators who have dedicated their time to prepare students for the future, and helped students recognize and mitigate workplace hazards in their chosen careers. McPherson received $5,000 for use in his classroom.

According to McPherson, safety is a major component of his hands-on curriculum that includes Introduction to Agriculture, Applied Biological Systems, Plant Science and Advanced Plant Sciences. During his nine years of teaching, he has logged more than 18,000 hours of accident-free direct work experience with his students.  

“If the students aren’t safe here, it can totally impact their entire future,” McPherson said. “Safety gives them a future, and they’re more likely to get employed if they come in with some safety knowledge, training and attitudes.”

“Each year, Mr. McPherson elevates our Ag Ed Program to new heights by adding what eventually become award-winning programs,” said RRHS Principal Shelly Vroegh. “The common thread throughout is safety, his number one priority.  We’re fortunate to have such a phenomenal teacher.”


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