Golden Apple: Agricultural Education teacher attracts students to the field

The 10/11 Golden Apple award is sponsored by Doane University College of Education
Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 8:56 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Teaching in your hometown is special. The 10/11 Golden Apple award winner for November has returned to his high school to make a difference teaching agricultural education. And he’s attracting students to a potential job field they may have never considered before.

On a warm fall day in Fairbury, we found Mr. Thomas Dux in his classroom at the Fairbury Junior-Senior High school. He was very casual, very talkative and very approachable. It’s no wonder he relates so well to his students.

Lexi Mau, a Fairbury sophomore, nominated Mr. Dux for the 10/11 Golden Apple Award. She said he’s more than a teacher to his students.

“I just remember coming in here as a 7th grader, not knowing much about agriculture and he really just helped me understand that more,” Mau said. “It was an awesome experience. As the years went on, I decided to take more Ag classes and he’s really expanded my knowledge on those topics.”

Fairbury Junior-Senior High School Principal, Sean Molloy, agrees.

“He has a great, welcoming personality, so kids naturally gravitate to him,” Molloy said. “Mr. Dux follows up on them all the time to make sure whether it’s academics, athletics or personal life that they are OK, and he’s a safe person they can go to.”

What’s more, this UNL and Doane grad is also a Fairbury grad. He returned to the Jeffs after four years at Mead. He’s now in his seventh year teaching agricultural education back home.

“My dad and I have about 25-30 sows and we raise some show pigs for kids for the fairs,” Dux said. “We also have some purebred stock that we take to shows throughout the U.S., so that was a draw coming back home - being able to come back and work on the farm with my dad.”

Not only is Mr. Dux excited to be in his hometown of Fairbury, he’s thrilled about a new space where he can work with students on FFA and welding projects, and of course prepare them for the future.

“We train the kids and they go out and get these careers that are going to be good paying careers that are going to help our community,” Dux said. “God always has a purpose for what I do in life. I prayed a lot for this situation, and about what to do, and it’s worked out well.”

If you know a teacher who you think should be recognized, nominate them for a 10/11 Golden Apple Award here.

Doane University College of Education
Doane University College of Education(Doane University College of Education)

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