It's been one surprise after another for Jim Scott this year.

It's been one surprise after another for Jim Scott this year.

Scott, who teaches Turf, Landscape and Greenhouse Management at Tolles Career & Technical Center, has received one accolade after another.

The most recent came about when he was named the teacher of the year by the 2009 Association for Career and Technical Education.

"They told me about a week ago," he said on Dec. 17. "They told the association president, who announced it to the whole class."

Scott, who has transformed the Turf program and created a golf hole to help his students learn the profession, was nominated by a colleague.

His run for being recognized as a teacher of the year began back in August.

At that time, he said, he received the teacher of the year award by the 2008 Ohio Association of Career Technical Education (ACTE).

Then in October, Scott was again named teacher of the year by the regional association.

Each time he was caught by surprise as the announcements were made during conventions or association meetings.

When the most recent award was presented, Superintendent Carl Berg noticed a discrepancy in the year emblazoned on the award. The national award said 2009, while the state award said 2008.

"We think it is for 2008," Scott said, "but we are not sure."

It is possible, he said, that the most recent award is considered 2009 because it came at the close of the year.

While Berg is trying to sort out the specifics, Scott is hoping that he was named teacher of the year for 2008 and 2009 and will also be named teacher of the year for 2010 and 2011.

The name of the national association is slightly different from the state association as well, but Scott said he will take the award no matter who presents it.

"It is quite an honor to be recognized," he said.

Scott views himself as a symbol of all the teachers with whom he works at Tolles.

"I am their voice this year," he said.

His basic philosophy is that the students are first always.

"It is my passion to see students succeed," he said.

If they achieve success in school, Scott said, they go on to become community leaders and the operators of their own enterprises.

Although a dinner party was held in his honor at Chick-fil-A on Dec. 16 for the national recognition, Scott was already thinking ahead of ways to keep his students engaged and interested.

"We are starting landscape design and we will have people from the industry in to teach us," he said.

He plans to pack his students up and take them to the Greater Columbus Home and Garden Show for the first time ever in March.

With the support of a strong advisory committee, administration, board of education and staff, Scott said, he is able to teach his students to live outside the box.

"I have been blessed with young men and women setting goals for the future," he said. "If they want success, they can't help but get on the right path."

In February, he said, they will have an open house in which the students demonstrate their skills.

"It's like a hands-on interview," he said.

In the spring, he said, they will have a dedication for the school's golf hole which is more than 400 yards in length.

"I have nothing planned," he admitted. "But I would like to bring in area golf teams. Maybe they could do some coaching. My dream is to have PGA golfers in, so they could teach my students how to chip and how to drive. It is a grandiose plan in my mind."

All dreams are fulfilled, according to Scott, after a thought develops.

catwogan@yahoo.com