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Alumni Spotlight: Chris Johnston

Released by Panhandle State Campus Communications on 04/03/2019 Courtesy photo Courtesy photo

Recently named the Kansas Association of Agricultural Educators Agriscience Teacher of the Year, Chris Johnston is the Agriculture Education Instructor and FFA Advisor at Elk Valley USD 283 in Kansas. He accepted the award at the 2019 Kansas Association of Agricultural Educators Ag Ed Symposium in Dodge City, Kansas on January 26, 2019.

“Being selected for this award is an incredible honor. Competing against other educators that have been teaching for quite some time and being able to stand out among some of the best teachers in the state is extremely humbling.”

Johnston, originally from Fort Supply, Okla., graduated from Panhandle State in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Education.

“My time at Panhandle State forever changed my outlook. I came to Panhandle State and didn’t have much of a path mapped out for my future. Panhandle State has a very special place in my heart and life. I got married, started my family and found something that I had a passion for all during my time there. Once you enroll at Panhandle State, you become part of big family.”

Johnston credits the one-on-one learning experiences he had at Panhandle with the superior education he feels he received.

“Dr. Nels Peterson, as well as others played a large role in molding me into the educator that I am today. He shared his years of wisdom in the classroom, allowed us to experience things in the classroom first hand, and got us involved with Ag Ed programs in the state.”

The atmosphere at Panhandle State is his favorite thing about the University. “The professors and staff are so welcoming and willing to facilitate the best education possible. Everyone at OPSU goes above and beyond for the students and they genuinely care for and want to see the students succeed in life after college.”

Panhandle State Agriculture Education Professor Dr. Nels Peterson commented on Johnston’s recent award as well as the work he is doing in the classroom.

“I am extremely proud of what Chris has accomplished in just two years.”

Looking to the future, Johnston comments, “My main goal would be to continue making a difference in the lives of our youth.”

As for time spent outside of work, Johnston and his family raise cattle and show pigs. He and his wife, Torrie, have a 3-year-old daughter and they just welcomed their new son on February 12, 2019. A Panhandle State graduate as well, Torrie earned a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and competed for the Equestrian team during her time as an Aggie.


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Alumni Spotlight: Chris Johnston

Courtesy photo

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