Gaither Welcomes New Agriculture Teacher


Katelyn Argueta

After many substitutes for both the vet assistant and agriculture science classes, Gaither welcomes a new agriculture teacher Nicole Rice.

Rice came from Plantation high school and hopes to make a change in the agriculture classes and be a real agricultural teacher for Gaither students. 

“I was a part of the Hillsborough county cuts so my Ag unit ethnicity was lost … and I had to pick a new job, and there was two to pick from so it was Gaither or Alonso, I ended up picking Gaither because you guys haven’t had a study Ag teacher in quite a few years and I didn’t in high school so I kind of sympathized with you guys so I picked Gaither,” said Rice.

On Oct. 26  Rice was able to introduce herself to her new students and the staff. Now, after some time has passed, she is able to say she has enjoyed her time here thus far.

“I feel like the administration here is very supportive, the people that I work with on a daily basis is very supportive, and the kids are excited and also supportive so it’s a really good environment I actually had a lot of stress release when I came here,” said Rice.

Since the agriculture classes haven’t been active for a very long time, she wants to make it better in a physical way.

“So I kind of teach hands on and I feel like the best way to learn is by doing, so bringing a bunch of animals here so that you guys get actual contact with animals to learn things, so that way when I do send them off to their clinicals and all that they’ll be familiar with all the animals they will be working with. The things they’ll ask them to do they will be very familiar with because they will do it here a hundred times so I want to bring all those things here to better prepare them for their future vet assisting.” 

Rice like all teachers has goals they want to achieve for their students. And as an agriculture teacher, she has to have animals to teach her students how to take care of them.

“So this year my goal is to get a lot of kids ADS test for ag associates and possibly animal science depending on what level of vet assisting you’re in, If we get a bunch kids to pass that, we actually get a lot of money coming to the program to better the classes, so that we can buy hydraulic grooming table, clippers to start clipping dogs, we can get Kennels, we can get classroom pets, all that kind of stuff you guys can learn from. So my biggest goal right now is getting you guys to learn your curriculum, passing this test, and prepare you for your internships in vet assisting.”

Rice’s main goal is to change and revive the program to provide the right opportunities to Gaither that have been gone for too long.