iCEV Teacher of the Month: Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith always knew she wanted to be a teacher, and when she began taking agricultural science classes her freshmen year at Bartlett Yancey High School, she found her true passion in agricultural education. A native of Yanceyville, North Carolina, Smith was an active member of the FFA chapter throughout her high school career. Emboldened with her desire to become an agricultural educator, Smith attended North Carolina State University. After earning her bachelor’s in agricultural education, Smith returned to her alma mater and joined the CTE department at Bartlett Yancey as the agricultural science teacher.

“I am a product of the CTE program I now teach under. This is where my passion truly comes from. I tell my students stories about sitting in the exact same classroom I now teach in,” said Smith.

As the agricultural science teacher at Bartlett Yancey, Smith aims to provide opportunities to her students to enhance their knowledge and skills while preparing them for future careers. To accomplish this, Smith has implemented a variety of new courses and opportunities into the Bartlett Yancey CTE program.

Upon returning to Bartlett Yancey in 2015, Smith wanted to add a veterinary medicine class to the course list. During the 2018-2019 school year, Smith finally got her opportunity to start the class. Instead of following the traditional, lecture-based method, Smith implemented a flipped classroom model for the first half of the veterinary medicine class. Smith had her students complete the study materials associated with the Elanco Veterinary Medical Applications Certification outside of class and facilitated activities, projects and lab demonstrations during the class period.

In the second half of the veterinary medicine class, Smith sent her students to work in local veterinary clinics during the class period. In the clinics, the students were able to implement the knowledge and skills they had been honing throughout the year. Smith’s students thrived in the veterinary clinics. Some students even filled job openings at the clinics after the course was over because of the technical skills and knowledge they had exhibited during their time in the clinics.


Bartlett Yancey Students from the Bartlett Yancey veterinary medicine class. Photo courtesy of Sarah Smith


The veterinary medicine class is just one example of how Smith is preparing her students for career success. As a member of the Bartlett Yancey CTE department, Smith works to offer real-world opportunities to students so they can develop an understanding of a variety of careers and industries.

“My favorite part about being a teacher in the CTE department is watching students ‘break out of their shell’ and do something totally new,” said Smith. “I love when students come to me and tell me they have never touched a certain animal before or they have never seen a task performed before. I enjoy the small things with my students, especially when they are learning something new.”

From her experiences as a student to her work as a CTE teacher, Smith is a true example of the impact CTE can have on an individual’s life. Teachers like Smith are preparing future workers and setting them up for long-term career success.

“I, myself, am an example of what CTE does for students and how important the courses could be in one’s life beyond high school,” said Smith.

We are excited to recognize Smith as our very first iCEV Teacher of the Month. We recently published a spotlight and case study on Smith’s veterinary science class at Bartlett Yancey. Use these links to learn more about the career development opportunities her students gained from this unique class.

Case Study: Elanco Veterinary Medical Applications Certification Prepares Students for Career Success

iCEV Spotlight: North Carolina High School Takes Unique Approach to Veterinary Medicine Course


At iCEV, we want to recognize the teachers who work tirelessly to set their students up for educational and career success. If you know a teacher who deserves to be recognized, nominate them for iCEV Teacher of the Month by contacting Kimberly Cantrell at or (806) 745-8820.