You could easily say the honors and awards say it all about Dave Mellor and the career he’s had as a teacher, but the students he’s positively impacted probably said it best.

Mellor is an Agriscience, Food and Natural Resources Educator and FFA Advisor at the South & West Washtenaw Consortium at Saline High School. He is retiring this year. He was honored and recognized at the April 23, Saline Area Schools (SAS) Board of Education meeting.

SAS Superintendent Stephen Laatsch introduced Mellor and some of the students in the program and FFA, who spoke before the school board and gathered public. Laatsch said Mellor has done a tremendous job with Saline’s agricultural program, and cited the various honors and awards the Saline students, program and FFA have won just over the past year and a half.

Last July, at the national level, the Agricultural program at SHS was listed fifth best in the U.S. and first in Michigan by Agricultural Experience Tracker at Texas A & M University; and then Saline earned a team Bronze in the National Food, Science and Technology competition; Saline student Isabella Emrick received an American FFA degree; at the state level at the Summer State Skills Contest in 2023, the state tractor driving team saw Saline students Nathan Dubnicki named the state winner in the Garden Tractor Division, Jackson Schaible was State Runner-up in the Garden Tractor Division, William Rogers was State Runner-up in the Zero Turn Mower Division and Henry Schneider was State Runner-up in the Utility Tractor and Trailer Division; at the Michigan Broiler Contest last fall Saline was state runner- up for ninth grade agricultural biology class with six gold entries and three silver entries, and the honors go on and on, including over the years the program being honored as one of the best by various organizations.

Of the many honors and awards given to Mellor, one included being given an Honorary America FFA Degree, which is the highest honor given by the FFA, the organization once known as Future Farmers of America. Recently, he was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the SE Micigan FFA for mentoring younger teachers and program excellence for 34 years.

As Laatsch said, “many, many awards.”

Saline student William Rogers shows some of awards and honors the Saline FFA program have earned. photo courtesy of Saline Area Schools

But at the meeting it was with the students’ words that brought out the emotions during the recognition.
SHS senior Gavin Male said the program has given him many opportunities that were both enjoyable and educational. He said Mellor always motivated them to do their best.

Allison Finkbeiner, who has been in the Saline program all four years of high school, said because of Mellor, she has learned not only learned about agricultural topics, but also about many lifelong skills, such as public speaking and professionalism.

She said she “wouldn’t have done that without Mr. Mellor pushing me.”

SHS senior Adyson Naebeck said Mellor saw something in them that they didn’t see in themselves while William Rogers called him a “great teacher.”

These were just a few who spoke, but all brought out the emotions in Mellor as he stood up to speak before the board.

Through some tears, an emotional and grateful Mellor said it’s been a privilege and thank you.

Mr. Mellor was emotional after hearing the words of his students. photo courtesy of Saline Area Schools


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