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Jackie “Jack” Dean Staats was born Dec. 15, 1951, to Clarence Wilbur “Mike” and Majel Staats and grew up primarily on a farm and ranch between Laverne and Buffalo. He served as president of the junior class and as president of the Laverne FFA chapter his junior and senior years. He was involved in all of the sports and enjoyed immensely singing solos in the choir. He had the leading role in a musical and was torn between majoring in vocal music or agriculture. The impact of his ag ed instructor, Fred Shultz, won out in the end and was instrumental in his decision to major in agricultural education.

Staats enrolled at Oklahoma Panhandle State University in the fall of 1969. He served as president of the freshman and sophomore classes and was a member of the livestock judging team and the rodeo team. Because Panhandle did not offer an ag ed degree at the time, Staats transferred to Oklahoma State University in the fall of 1971. He did his student teaching at Drummond High School under the direction of Avel Henneke. Upon graduation, Staats began his ag teaching career at Freedom High School.

Staats served as an agricultural education instructor and FFA adviser for three years at Freedom (1973-76) and one year at Buffalo (1976-77) before getting the opportunity to start a two-teacher program with longtime friend Glen Elliott. Staats then spent 30 wonderful years at Alva High School. After eight years, Elliott moved, and the chapter went back to a single-teacher department for five years. The program again expanded, and a two-teacher program was introduced and developed with Randy Nation until the end of Staats’ ag teaching career in June 2007.

However, the most important event of his life was meeting his wife, Delana (Loni) Blackwell and marrying her in 1980. His wife was not only a great partner, but also blessed their family with three children Colby, Chelsea and Ciera.

At the completion of his ag teaching career, Staats was hired as the state supervisor of agricultural education and the Oklahoma state FFA adviser from 2007-2020. Staats was most proud of helping create and promoting programs such as Blue Coats to White Coats with OSU medical school, AET recordkeeping system, FFA affiliated membership, national proficiency award participation and agri-science research participation. Further, he worked to uphold the rights and privileges of agricultural education teachers at all levels and to uphold the rules and regulations of the Oklahoma Department of CareerTech.

Upon retirement in 2020, Staats finished his career serving as the William Donald Campbell Family Endowed Chair professor of agricultural education at Northwestern Oklahoma State University.

His honors include Oklahoma and National FFA VIP; Oklahoma Youth Expo and Tulsa State Fair Show honoree; National Association of Supervisors in Agricultural Education Outstanding State Supervisor, central region vice president and national president; National Association of Agricultural Educators Lifetime Achievement Award; OAETA district vice president and state president; OAETA Teacher of the Year; OkACTE Agricultural Education Teacher of the Year; OkACTE state president; Inspiration Award Oklahoma Panhandle State University; and Outstanding NVATA Teacher of the Year Award.

Staats judged several county, district and state livestock shows and continually worked with youth. He loves his family very much and is so proud of his children and grandchildren. He always says, “Regardless of the situation, always surround yourself with good people, and they will make you better than you ever believed you could be — that being family, friends or co-workers.”

He was inducted into the CareerTech Hall of Fame in 2024.

Last Modified on Jul 18, 2024
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