Mr. Gillespie working with a student in the school's barn.

Buncombe County Schools (BCS) is proud to provide students with an assortment of Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes in both middle and high school. Classes range from agriculture, business, family and consumer sciences, early childhood education, woodworking and many more. 

Leading each of those unique classes are exceptional educators who go above and beyond to ensure students are prepared for life after high school. Each year one person is selected out of the CTE program to become the CTE Teacher of the Year (TOTY). The 2024 CTE TOTY is Justin Gillespie of North Buncombe High School (NBHS). Mr. Gillespie is the school’s Agriculture Education teacher. Whether he’s teaching in his classroom or the school’s barn (filled with farm animals during the year), his dedication to the field of agriculture is easy to see.

“Teaching highschoolers about agriculture is crucial,” said Mr. Gillespie. “They learn about safe and affordable foods and renewable resources used for housing and crops. However, most importantly, they have the opportunity to be outside where they interact with our goats, calves, and farm equipment, something some students have never had the chance to do until high school.”

Mr. Gillespie believes there are several benefits for both CTE students and teachers. 

“Part of the Future Farmers of America motto is learning by doing,” he explained. “In any CTE class across the county students along with teachers are learning from hands-on experiences. It’s those activities that stick with students long into their adulthood.”

Mr. Gillespie is proud to represent Buncombe County Schools at the CTE Teacher of the Year! 

“It’s such a great honor and privilege to be named the 2024 CTE TOTY,” he said. “I feel that there are numerous other CTE teachers within our county that are overqualified who do such a great job serving BCS students. I get to work with the best teachers in the state on a daily basis.”

Students carrying the goats so they can be weighed.