“I enjoy teaching agriculture because it teaches students leadership skills, communication, and hands-on activities.” – Mr. Branch
Mr. Branch, “The New Kid”
There are students talking, lockers slamming, and pencils tapping. There’s squeaky floors, shiny windows, and long hallways. There is even the sound of zipping backpacks. It’s that time of year once again-school. The school bell rings, and everyone rushes to class. All the teachers hurry to class as well, except one-Mr. Colton Branch.
Mr. Branch is an agriculture teacher and was born in Winfield, Kansas. He lived there for most of his life. He graduated high school there and had moved quite often ever since. He’s been to places from Kansas City, Missouri, to Coffeeville, Kansas. He’s even moved to Manhattan, New York. Out of all the places he’s been, his favorite would have to be Manhattan.
“Manhattan would probably have to be my favorite because there are so many things you can see and do. Also, I was close to my friends, and some of my family too,” said Mr. Branch.
What brought Mr. Branch to Russell high school was the job and all the things that came with it. It had all of what he was looking for.
Mr. Branch said, “This program had a lot of what I wanted. There were lots of opportunities here. This FFA program had a greenhouse, Ag. shop, and a farm. Most schools don’t have all three.”
Mr. Branch also has some family that lives here as well. This made it a lot easier move, and to be closer to the family. He has six cousins, and a great aunt and uncle. All live in Russell, but his parents live in different cities in Kansas.
Mr. Branch enjoys Russell high school so far. The teachers are welcoming him just fine, and even the students too.
“I’m really impressed how respectful the students are,” said Mr. Branch.
Mr. Branch is also very happy with the community, and how everyone treats him in or out of school.
“The community is so helpful and welcoming. When I had questions people didn’t mind at all helping or showing me around,” said Mr. Branch.
This is Mr. Branch’s first year of teaching, so his first day as a teacher was very nerve-racking.
Mr. Branch said, “I was so nervous of how the teachers and the students would treat me. It’s also something I’ve never done before. It was a big step forward. I just didn’t know what to expect.”
What got Mr. Branch into teaching agriculture, was an agriculture advisor he had when he was in high school.
“Anytime I needed help, or needed some backup; he was there no matter what. He pushed me out of my comfort zone, and always kept me out of trouble,” said Mr. Branch.
This advisor was Mr. Branch’s Agriculture teacher. This made Mr. Branch want to be just like him when he grew up. He wanted to “repay the favor.” This has been Mr. Branch’s dream ever since his junior year of high school. And it came true.
“My advisor inspired me in high school, and made me who I am today,” said Mr. Branch.