Clary wins state teaching award

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Madisonville High School Automotive and Small Engine Technology Teacher Jason Clary was named the Texas Industrial Vocational Association (TIVA) New Teacher of the Year at the organization’s Midwinter Conference in Corpus Christi.

There are multiple levels to the award and Clary is now in the running for the Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE) Texas New Teacher of the Year Award which could ultimately lead to regional and national consideration.

TIVA considered candidates with two to five years of teaching experience for the award. Clary has been teaching at MHS for four years.

“Auto work is something I have always had a passion for,” said Clary. “I am very mechanically minded and I like to fix and build things. We did not have the money to take the car to the shop growing up so we figured it out and fixed it ourselves. I always figure if somebody can do it then so can I and that is our attitude in the classroom.”

Teaching was not always the path Clary believed he would take. He worked as a welder out of high school and enjoyed it, but decided it was not what he wanted to do for a living. He then went to work for the First State Bank of Bedias while he was finishing college and then remained there as a loan officer. But he was not satisfied behind a desk, either.

It was when he sold equipment for Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, a job that required significant time on the road, that he was ready to start a family with his wife Amy. He began helping out with Ag Mechanics while settling into fatherhood and it sparked his teaching career and ultimately led to his current position.

“Every person in this world needs a skill,” said Clary. “College is not for everybody and that is fine. Our greatest assets are our minds and our hands. There will always be jobs out there that require you to use both. I do not expect all of my students to become mechanics but that information is there and it could spark an interest in them as well.”

Clary first learned of the award while attending the TIVA Midwinter Conference.

“It was very humbling,” said Clary. “I am not one to put myself up. I just try to do what I can the best I can and I feel very grateful that they would think that highly of me.”

Clary’s wife Amy is also a high school teacher of mathematics and, according to Jason, is the best teacher in the family. The two have a four-year-old daughter, Avery, and are expecting another, Gracie, in March.

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