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Riley Hintzsche and Kaylyn Schiber-Davenport
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WIU Agriculture Alumni Win NAAE Awards

April 22, 2024

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MACOMB, IL - - Western Illinois University Agricultural (Ag) alumni Riley Hintzsche and Kaylyn Schiber-Davenport have won NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF AGRICULTURAL EDUCATORS (NAAE) awards in their respective regions.

Hintzsche graduated from WIU with a bachelor's degree in Agricultural Education in 2014. He accepted a position at Streator Township High School (STHS), taking over the Ag program. So far, the high school program has expanded from 86 students when he arrived in 2014 to 216 today, leading the school to hire another Ag teacher at STHS, Gwen Heimerdinger.

"It takes a village to run a successful ag program, and although we are very excited to be named a regional winner, we could not do this without the "village" that supports us in Streator and around our nation," said Hintzsche.

Schiber-Davenport graduated from WIU with a bachelor's degree in Agricultural Education in 2014. While attending WIU, she was involved in CFFA, Ag Vocators, Hoof N' Horn and Ag Council. She went on to student teach at Monmouth-Roseville High School with Mr. Kilburn. She now teaches agriculture at El Capitan High School in Merced, CA, in a department with five others, where she serves as department chair and teaches in multiple categories, including Ag Chemistry, Horticulture, Ag Biology, Ag Economics/Government and Internships in Agriculture.

"I am grateful NAAE was able to identify the hard work put forth by the members of our department, our community members, parents, and advisory board members. Our department tirelessly cultivates the next generation of industry leaders, guiding students toward prosperous futures in agriculture. To all who support our students and program, your support is truly indispensable. This honor stands as a testament to our collective efforts. I am also so thankful for WIU equipping me with the skills and knowledge essential to my role. Under the mentorship of Dr. Baker and the guidance of WIU, I have been empowered to realize my fullest potential as an agricultural educator," Schiber-Davenport said.

Each year, Ag programs nationwide are nominated to apply for several awards from the NAAE. In each state, the Ag Teacher Association selects one program in the state to advance to the regional level which is then judged among the other states.

Both Hintzsche and Schiber-Davenport won in their NAAE regions for the "Outstanding Middle/Secondary Agricultural Education Program." Hintzsche actively teaches at Streator High School (Region IV) and Kaylyn Schiber-Davenport at El Capitan High School, CA (Region I).

NAAE maintains an extensive awards program to recognize the accomplishments of our many talented and dedicated members. We have awards for agricultural educators in every stage of their careers, from scholarships to lifetime achievement. We also manage grant programs for organizations that want to help support agricultural education and agricultural educators.

For more information on the School of Agriculture, visit

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