By Ryan Cornell
STRASBURG -- Jaclyn Roller, 30, comes from a long line of agriculture teachers.
Her grandfather and father both taught ag classes at Strasburg High School for 40 years, and Roller is now an ag teacher at Signal Knob Middle School.
"I can't imagine teaching anywhere else," she said. "Some people probably don't realize how fortunate we are to be here."
Born and raised in Strasburg, Roller was a student in the shop classes taught by Jim Hisghman at Signal Knob. She said he helped mold her into who she is today. Since seventh grade, she said her goal has been to come back and teach.
"I tell people, 'Believe it or not, I was a shy student back in the day,'" she said. "And when I joined FFA it helped me come out of my shell and try more things."
Roller serves as adviser to Signal Knob's Future Farmers of America program, which was named most outstanding middle school FFA chapter in the U.S. last year.
According to Signal Knob Principal Chris Cook, Roller teaches 67 percent of the student body at the middle school.
She said many of these students are children of those she went to school with.
Roller graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in agricultural education in 2005 and started teaching at Admiral Byrd Middle School in Frederick County before joining the faculty at Signal Knob in 2007.
At an awards ceremony last week, Roller was recognized as the Teacher of the Year for the Shenandoah County Public School division
"I wish someone had a videocamera on my face when they announced it," she said. "It was very exciting. I'm typically not an emotional person, but when they called my name, I did get a little choked up."
Roller is getting married this summer to Ken Ryan, and said she is thankful he is from Mount Jackson so they can stay in Shenandoah County.
"I will, until the day I die, talk about Strasburg," she said.
Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or firstname.lastname@example.org