By Becky Leader

Sentinel Correspondent

LEIPSIC— Leipsic High School’s Vocational Agriculture instructor, Don Barnhart, has been recognized for the second time in as many months for the numerous contributions he has made to his students and the community.

In February, Barnhart, a 35-year teaching veteran who has spent his entire career at Leipsic, was awarded District 4’s Golden Owl, which acknowledges agricultural educators across Ohio who devote countless hours, and often their own resources, to positively influence the lives of their students.

On March 9, he received the Ohio Association of Agricultural Educators’ (OAAE) 2023 Outstanding Agricultural Education Teacher Award. Barnhart was nominated for the distinction by his contemporaries. He was also one of four finalists for the OAAE Outstanding Teacher Mentor Award.

Barnhart will now vie for the title of National Outstanding Agricultural Education Teacher, an honor that will be presented during the National Association of Agricultural Educators’ Convention in Phoenix at the end of November.

“When looking at all the agricultural teachers from across Ohio who were nominated, I feel honored to be associated with this caliber of teachers,” Barnhart said.

“As educators, we all know it is not about the awards and accolades; it is about the students and their success,” he declared. “This is the icing on top of the cake to be recognized and appreciated.”

Barnhart will retire from teaching at the end of this school year.