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Rackers rakes in prestigious teaching award

State Technical College of Missouri instructor Nick Rackers was awarded the 2013 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

“It was a surprise for sure,” said Rackers. “I haven’t been in the education business very long, so being recognized by my peers after such a relatively short stint as an educator is quite an honor.”

In his seven years with the college, Rackers has made quite an impact. He’s served two terms on the Faculty Senate, one of those as Vice President. Rackers is also an advisor for the Postsecondary Agriculture Student Organization Chapter.

He currently serves as an instructor for the Commercial Turf and Grounds Management program. Under his tutelage the program has flourished with students qualifying to compete and placing in national competitions including the National Postsecondary Agriculture Student Conference.

Holding a Bachelors of Plant Science from the University of Missouri, Columbia, Rackers sees himself as a landscape horticulturist first and an educator second. “I like seeing successful students,” said Rackers. “And I like to think that I’m not only producing graduates, but future colleagues.”

“Nick, like so many of our instructors, has a strong background in and a passion for what he teaches,” said Dr. Donald Claycomb, STC President. “His previous experiences with landscape horticulture serve his students and our campus well.”

Rackers sees the improvements made on State Tech’s campus as one of his greatest accomplishments. He was instrumental in the placement of trees and plants during recent construction projects and notes that those plants not only help the CTG students during lessons, but also make the campus more appealing for students, faculty and staff.

The Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching is presented to an outstanding faculty member from each participating higher education institution in the state. Award recipients are nominated by faculty peers and a recommending committee composed of past recipients forwards their recommendation to the college president for submission.

State Technical College of Missouri is Missouri’s only state technical college. Hands-on technical courses balanced with a strong foundation in communication, problem solving, decision-making and critical thinking prepare graduates for profitable employment and a life of learning. 

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