Tyler Boganwright and Mariah Roberts grew up less than a half-mile away from each other near Mentone. Little did they know one day they would be teachers in the same department at the same school.
Boganwright, a 2010 graduate of Tippecanoe Valley High School, is student teaching agriculture classes for the first trimester at Wawasee High School. He will finish his agriculture education degree at Purdue University in December and then graduate. Upon completion of the degree, he will remain a teacher at Wawasee and simply change pay classifications.
The son of Tim and Sara Boganwright, Tyler grew up on a livestock farm helping to raise show pigs and black Angus cattle. He showed pigs in 4-H for 10 years and was also a four-year FFA member in high school. “I knew from an early age, I wanted to stay in ag in some way,” he said, talking about his career ambitions.
While in FFA, his supervised agricultural experience (known more commonly as SAE) involving swine production placed second in the state.
Boganwright said he came to the conclusion teaching agriculture is a good way to train the next generation of ag leaders. It is important, he said, because many children on family farms are choosing not to return to the farm after finishing their schooling. “There must be some way to keep the next generation growing,” and promote interest in agriculture, he said.
Agriculture can be both challenging and rewarding, he noted. Farmers can face many challenges including the obvious one of the weather, but also pests and bugs invading and damaging their crops and sometimes having to deal with what their neighbors are doing.
Wawasee had to go through an accreditation process to be able to host a student teacher from Purdue. So when the process was completed, Roberts saw Boganwright was a logical choice for a student teacher. “She actually baby-sat me and my siblings at my house,” years ago, Boganwright said of Roberts.
He added Wawasee has a strong agriculture reputation in contests and that was also a factor in choosing to come to the school to teach and the schedule is more conducive to working on his family farm raising livestock.
His goals include building and growing a new landscaping class he is teaching. He feels there is a career industry with landscaping locally because of the lakes. Boganwright also teaches environmental conservation, animal science introduction and natural resources this trimester.
Single, he lives with his parents. A big family hobby is raising 4-H show pigs. “We travel a lot and that really keeps us busy,” he said.