Tim Willette wants to ag-spark his students.
“I want to spark an interest in them for a future career,” said Chatfield High School’s new agricultural education instructor, anticipating his work with eighth and ninth grade engineering and 11th and 12th grade civil engineering and economics students.
The 2003 University of Minnesota-St. Paul graduate is looking forward to working in a smaller school district once more. He was the ag ed teacher and FFA advisor in Lanesboro for 10 years — from 2003 to 2013 — and last year he taught at Austin High School as a career and technical education teacher.
“This will be the start of my 12th year teaching. I have always been an ag ed teacher, and I have taught a wide variety of classes including welding, small engines, automotive, electricity, construction, land surveying, wildlife, natural resources, leadership, animal science, food science, horticulture, and work experience,” he said. “My passion for teaching agricultural education stems from a combination of growing up on a family farm, participating as an FFA member in high school, and a genuine desire to help students achieve their academic and FFA goals.
“I really enjoy the setting of a smaller school, and after teaching for a year in Austin, I feel that Chatfield will be a better fit for me as a teacher. I will be the second ag ed teacher at Chatfield. This is a very exciting position to create more opportunities for students and strengthen the FFA program — I will be assisting with FFA activities and coaching Career Development Event (CDE) teams.”
Though he’s challenged by “organizing the wood and metal shops” in time for the first day of school, he’s confident that he’ll be able to help his students take that glimmer of interest in agricultural education and turn it into a passion like his own.
“I hope to help them explore opportunities for their future careers,” he stated. “Agricultural education and FFA make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success. I’m excited about helping students to achieve their academic and FFA goals.”
Willette commutes to Chatfield from south of Spring Valley. His wife, Amber, is an RN at Charter House in Rochester, and they have been married for three years. He said he enjoyes going to the movies, watching the Vikings play and working on his 1956 GMC pickup.