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Dayhoff: Linthicum presented with national educator award

Last December, retired Carroll County Public Schools educator Joe Linthicum was awarded with a National Association of Agricultural Educators’ National Lifetime Achievement Award. Linthicum was an agricultural educator at South Carroll High School and Francis Scott Key High School for 42 years.

Linthicum was recognized by the National Association of Agricultural Educators “for his exemplary performance and dedication to agricultural education,” according to a news release from the association.

Linthicum was presented his national award during the 2023 NAAE Convention, Nov. 28 through Dec. 2, 2023, in Phoenix, Arizona.

According to the NAAE, the Lifetime Achievement Award is earned by folks “who have retired from the agricultural education profession and who have contributed to the advancement of agricultural education on a regional or national level throughout their careers.”

The NAAE, headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky, is a professional organization for agricultural educators with over 8,000 members nationwide, according to information provided by the association. “The organization advocates for agricultural education, provides advancement through professional development … and works to recruit and retain agricultural educators in the profession.”

Linthicum is part of a large group of community leaders and educators who have worked hard to advance the history and traditions of agriculture in Carroll County.

Linthicum began teaching high school agricultural education in 1975. He taught at South Carroll High School in Winfield his first year followed by 41 years at Francis Scott Key in Union Bridge.

During his career, Linthicum provided a variety of services for educators and students alike. For fellow educators, Linthicum provided lessons, activities, and supplies for use with their programs and mentored young teachers.

In 2017, Carroll County Times reporters Emily Chappell and Jacob deNobel wrote about his last day at Francis Scott Key.

“He’s spent his whole life in Carroll and even attended FSK in his day,” according to Chappell and deNobel. “And over that time, he’s taught hundreds of kids in subjects from animal science to mechanics to forestry to biotechnology. ‘It’s been the whole gamut,’  Linthicum said. In his time at the school, he’s been the Future Farmers of America adviser and a part of the 4-H fair, and he’s coached soccer and softball. Linthicum spent his years giving back to the students.

“For Linthicum, this next chapter includes traveling to see some family out west. He likes being around people, he said, so he won’t be disappearing from the area. He’s got three grandchildren to whom he hopes he can impart some knowledge — and maybe softball or soccer skills — as they continue to grow.

“‘I’m retiring from teaching, I’m not disappearing from the area,’ Linthicum said. ‘A teacher never stops teaching.’”

Of course, accolades and awards are nothing new to Linthicum. According to information provided by the NAAE, Linthicum received the Maryland Agriculture Teachers Association Outstanding Teacher Award in 1998. He received Maryland’s Teacher Mentor Award in 2005, 2014 and 2016.

Linthicum was nominated as an Outstanding Teacher for Carroll County in 2011 and 2013 with the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce and Carroll County Public Schools. He was recognized by the Maryland 4H with their “Friend of 4H” award in 2016 for his service working with the Carroll County 4H/FFA and the Maryland State Fair.

“Francis Scott Key High School agriscience teacher honored with 4-H award,” reporter Michel Elben wrote Feb. 7, 2016 in the Carroll County Times, “Francis Scott Key High School agriscience teacher Joe Linthicum said he was surprised when he received the Maryland Friend of 4-H Award during the state’s 4-H Foundation gala Jan. 17.”

According to the article, Linthicum said, “I like to see students achieve and find new challenges … I’m a teacher at heart, and I want to teach them to be better people. I’m always available to them, and I’m more than willing to volunteer to help them be successful.

In 2016, 4-H educator Becky Ridgeway spoke for many when said Linthicum is “dedicated to supporting the kids … He gives up his time to support 4-H projects and goes outside of his job description to help our youth organizations.”

Kevin Dayhoff writes from Westminster. His Time Flies column appears every Sunday. Email him at

Source: The Baltimore Sun County News

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