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WIU Ag Alumna Wins Outstanding Young Teacher Award in California

August 28, 2019

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MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University alumna Kaylyn Davenport was recognized recently with the "2019 Outstanding Young Teacher" award by the California Agricultural Teachers' Association (CATA).

Davenport, a 2014 agriculture education graduate, is a floral design teacher at Atwater High School in California. Through her classroom work, Davenport started "Falcon Floral," an in-school floral shop that teaches floral design and managerial and leadership skills.

The CATA award recognizes an outstanding young teacher, with five-seven years of service, for their participation and leadership in civic, community, agriculture, agribusiness and professional activities.

Davenport's father, Phil Schiber, was a former Atwater High School agriculture instructor, and she grew up influence by his passion for his job and working with students. During her high school years, Davenport was involved in agricultural and FFA activities at the school.

In addition to the CATA award, Davenport has coached three state champion FFA judging teams, including one national championship.

Davenport said she has future goals of expanding student Supervised Agriculture Experience opportunities, which is a component of the agriculture education three-circle model of classroom/lab, leadership and hands-on skills application.

During her time leading the high school's agricultural program, Davenport has expanded the floral design program from three to five sections. The school's floral shop is run by 19 of Davenport's students. Students create and sell floral designs, including creating work for weddings.

It was during her time at WIU that Davenport said she developed her passion for teaching.

"I felt ready and excited to earn my first teaching position," she said. "Dr. (Andy) Baker showed me the importance of working hard to learn content, and teach it in the best way possible. My teaching strategies stem from the time spent in my agriculture education courses at WIU.

For more information about the WIU School of Agriculture, visit

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