By: Caitlin Powers
The ALEC department has a new assistant lecturer, J.P. Hancock, who will be teaching agricultural science courses that he once took at Texas A&M.
“Since I have been in the teaching field I have wanted to come back and do exactly what I am doing now,” Hancock said, “teaching skills to our future teachers.”
For the past three years Hancock taught night classes at Rudder High School with Professor Tim Murphy, Ph.D.. Prior to teaching with Murphy, Hancock taught at Sealy High School for 26 years.
Coming back to teach in the ALEC department brings Hancock’s career into a full circle. Hancock graduated from the department in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science in agriculture education and in 1984 with a Master of Science in agricultural education.
Hancock also brought back to the department a piece from the past – a golden framed painting of a bright-eye owl nestled into a tree that used to hang in the office of previous faculty member, Don Herring, Ph.D.
Herring was the head of graduate programs in the department and taught many courses Hancock took. However, it was outside the classroom where Hancock really got to know Herring.
“I remember times when Dr. Herring and other agricultural education professors would take time to sit in on a hand or two of forty-two with us [students] in the domino room in Scoates Hall,” Hancock said.
Hancock and Herring also spent time with each other during their involvement with the Collegiate FFA.
Herring’s painting was later auctioned off at the Aggie Bash, an event held annually at the vocational agricultural teacher’s conference for all of the Texas A&M former students who are current agricultural science teachers. The money raised from the auction assists first year agricultural science teachers with their professional organization dues.
The painting was purchased by Hancock while he was an agricultural science teacher and now the painting has made its way back the department.
Hancock’s career-similar to the painting-has come full circle by joining department. He said he actually enjoys writing curriculum and building small metal projects in his leisure time. Hancock is now at a place where he can do both for a job.
“Every day is a new day,” Hancock said. “I am excited about what we are doing and am proud to be here.”