Turlock High School Agriculture Department Chair and teacher Chad Russell has received the Modesto Chamber of Commerce 2013 Excellence in Education Award.
The Modesto Sunrise Rotary Club gave Russell $500 as part of the award. Instead of spending it on himself, the educator has elected to spend the money to purchase equipment for the new Principles of Turf Management ROP course.
Russell was hired eight years ago by then-THS Principal Dana Salles Trevethan, who now serves as Turlock Unified School District Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services.
“Chad Russell continues to be an agricultural icon, role model, and educator in TUSD. His vision and focus for providing real-life agricultural experiences for our students has become essential to meeting the needs of our career and technical programs and our community,” said Salles Trevethan.
According to TUSD officials, this summer Russell also won the Ag Mechanics Instructor Sweepstakes award at the California State Fair based on his welding students’ outstanding performances. This year, the THS agriculture program had a 71% increase in student enrollment and a large part of this increase is due to the efforts of Russell and other hard-working instructors.