Fresh perspective with a new pair of eyes

Image: Blake Godwin, new member of the Italy High School teaching staff, found some pennants, flags and some awesome memorabilia and is using them as decorations in the class.  “I want the students to see what the FFA history has been in this chapter,” Godwin proudly replied.

Blake Godwin, new member of the Italy High School teaching staff, found some pennants, flags and some awesome memorabilia and is using them as decorations in the class. “I want the students to see what the FFA history has been in this chapter,” Godwin proudly replied. (Anne Sutherland)

Blake Godwin has been hired by Italy High School as the new Ag teacher. This is his first appointment teaching and with all the new information, he has a great new perspective on things. “I would like to see this organization grow and develop into a program the community can be proud of and help out when we need it.”

Mr. Godwin was born in Tyler and raised in Athens. He graduated from Athens High School in 2007. Blake was an officer of the Athens FFA, as well as a member of the Athens FFA Show Team, showing Braford heifers and Maine crossed steers. “I was very interested in agricultural growing up helping with the ranching back home—working cattle, bailing hay and planting crops.”

Godwin attended Sam Houston State University and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Agricultural Sciences with a minor in Secondary Education. “I attended Sam Houston because of their outstanding Agricultural Science department reputation. I really enjoyed the atmosphere SHSU had to offer and the way everyone worked together in the Ag Department functioned as a group. I was a member of many clubs and organizations at Sam including the Beef Cattle Show Team.” Blake met IHS alumni, Brian Weaver, while at Sam Houston and found out about Italy. “I could never tell how big Italy, Texas was just seeing it as I passed the sign on I35.” Blake explained it to Brian.

“I am planning on improving the Ag department’s face in the community with several service activities through the FFA program. Also, I am planning on many projects throughout the year to help motivate the students into growing the program into something they will be proud of. I would like to extend a helping hand into the community by helping people of Italy with anything that is broken and can be fixed by the students. I think that it is important for the program and the community to work together in order to achieve a common goal of improvement,” Godwin explained about his goals for the year.

IHS Principal, Lee Joffre, said, “Mr. Godwin is a ‘go-getter’ and that is exactly what the Ag Department will need as we start to rebuild the program.”

“The school has been trying to get the Ag Mechanics portion of the department to help the students get some sort of credit outside of the school to help the students down the road with their endeavors. I will be teaching the students two semesters worth of college courses over two years for the juniors and seniors. Those who would like to pursue the third semester of instruction can do so at Navarro College in Corsicana. We will also be helping the students get their NCCER certifications,” Blake continued. NCCER stands for the National Center for Construction Education and Research. “The certification the students can achieve is the basis of a standard the NCCER strives for everone to have in order for every person on a job site to have the same training and be qualified for the position,” Mr. Godwin explained.

The Ag Department will be able to help the community with mechanical needs. Mr. Godwin suggested, “If someone wanted something built, such as a trailer, the owner would pay for the materials, plus $100.00 to cover shop consumables (gas, welding wire, grinding discs, etc). Also, if someone was having something fixed, depending on what they would be getting fixed, we would work something out.”

Another good idea from Blake Godwin is cleaning the animal barn in an economical fashion, “I am looking to get about 6 goats to help with brush control, as well as, teaching the students how to de-worm, clip hooves and give vaccinations.”

Moving recently to Italy, Godwin has a 3 year old Basset Hound named Molly, in which he considers his child. Girlfriend, Nicole Vajdak, has a 5 year old Basset named Bessie. The couple support Italy ISD and the Ag Department. “I have been able to meet a few of the people in Italy but I am still meeting new people every day. I will be at the school working in the shop or out at the school farm this summer to get everything lined up for this fall. If anyone would like to meet me before school starts they can come by the shop or the farm,” Godwin said.

Comment by Joel Hugghins received July 26, 2012-11:22am

Good luck to Mr. Godwin in his new endeavor with the Italy FFA Chapter.  Seeing my name on one of those banners definitely brought back a lot of great memories.  Mr. Murrie Wainscott carried us all over the state doing various competitions and even attending the FFA State Conventions in Amarillo and Corpus Christi.  Mr. Wainscott loaded up 8 crazy, rambunctious boys ranging in age from 15-18 in the school van and carried us all the way to Corpus Christi, Texas in the summer of 1992.  How he did that without killing us is still a mystery to me!!  We saw and experienced so many things in those days and FFA was the reason why.  Thanks Mr. Wainscott for all of those experiences and good times!!  I wish Italy FFA and Mr. Godwin nothing but the best in the future.
bq. Best Regards,
Joel M. Hugghins