North Carroll High School agriscience teacher Aaron Geiman credits a conversation with his high school agriculture teacher Dick Weaver as part of the reason he decided to become a teacher.
Weaver, now retired from North Carroll, said the conversation came while Geiman was a student at Oklahoma State University and was the "start of great things."
"I don't care what subject he teaches, he is going to be at the top of his game," Weaver said of his former pupil.
Geiman, 38, was recognized for his work in the classroom when he was named Maryland's recipient of the National Association of Agricultural Educators' Outstanding Teacher Award. He was presented with the award in June at the state Future Farmers of America convention in College Park.
Geiman, who prefers to talk about the North Carroll agricultural program instead of his personal accolades, said it was "awesome" to be recognized by his peers:
Teachers are nominated by their peers for the award. Geiman said he has yet to find out who nominated him.
As state winner, Geiman is now in the running to be named regional Teacher of the Year for the Northeast Region, which includes 13 states from Virginia to Maine.
The National Association of Agricultural Educators will announce the regional winners at its annual convention in December in Nashville.
Geiman, a North Carroll alumnus, has been teaching agriculture at the school for 15 years. He was named the Carroll County Public Schools Teacher of the Year in 2011.
He is also serving a one-year term as president of the Maryland Agriculture Teachers Association.
The North Carroll agriscience program has 120 to 130 students this year.
The students at North Carroll study under a nationally endorsed curriculum for agricultural science education, which Geiman says is much more advanced than many believe.
"It's focusing on developing high thinkers for agriculture," Geiman said.
Geiman said his favorite aspects of teaching include working with students, the content of agriculture education and the relationships formed with agriculture educators around the nation.
For 14 years, Geiman and Weaver taught together at North Carroll.
"As a colleague, I loved working with him," Weaver said. "I think the world of him."
North Carroll Principal Kimberly Dolch said the transition from Weaver to Geiman since Weaver's retirement has been seamless.
"His style of putting kids first is very similar to Mr. Weaver's," she said. "They always think about putting the kids first."
She added that Geiman is an "outstanding" teacher.
"What is so special about Aaron is that he really cares about the students and wants them to be connected to their education," Dolch said.