CATA Hall of Fame - Class of 2021


Roy Beck

Tracy High School 1976, Live Oak High School 1976-1982, Yuba College 1977-1982, Nevada Union High School, 1982-1984, Bret Harte High School 1984-2016

Teacher of Excellence
Honorary American FFA Degree

Born in 1951 Roy Beck began his childhood working on his family's Santa Rosa dairy farm. Little did he know that when he slipped on that blue corduroy jacket as an FFA member, he would one day influence the lives of so many students. Roy Beck taught for 42 years in the agriculture education profession spanning from the Superior to Central Regions. 

His home was Bret Harte High School, his passion was his students. Roy served the CATA, as a sectional officer three times, twice in the Superior region and once in the Central Region, then as a regional CATA officer in the Superior and Central Regions. Knowing that his impact could be more he then was elected to the State CATA office.  

His service did not end there, he led the CATA as a presenter at Master Teacher Conclaves, Roadshows, Summer Conference Workshops, and Lake Sequoia.   Up until his retirement Roy served as a representative on the California FFA Advisory Committee, coordinated Milk Quality CDE contests, and served as the National Chair for CDEs.  Roy was also a member of the taskforce that moved the National FFA Convention to Kentucky.  Roy's passion and fun-loving demeanor left an impact on our profession and thousands of FFA members across the country. 


Debbie Benson
King City High School 1981-2017

Teacher of Excellence 2002
CA FFA Distinguished Service Citation 2001

Debbie Benson's mark on agricultural education in the Salinas Valley is the culmination of a 36-year career at King City High School.  She met her husband Richard while working with her FFA students at a community fundraiser; together they have raised three sons, Nathan, Bryant and Dustin.  

Debbie was the chairman for the CATA Idea Show, developing the system used today to separating submissions into numbered categories by subject matter.   She served as the South Coast region CATA reporter for 6 years as well as 3 terms in the section chairs.  

She continues to serve as the district CTE coordinator and was instrumental in obtaining two Strong Workforce Grants in 2019 and the Prop 51 Facilities grant in 2017.  She continues to coordinate CTEIG and Perkins grants and applications. Debbie responds to calls of action by writing or calling state lawmakers to save state positions/funding.  She has traveled to the state capital with students to meet with local representatives to stress the importance of agriculture education in California.  Serving on the State FFA Adult Advisory Committee since 2014, she has been Vice Chair since 2016.  She has hosted spring South Coast region meetings/competitions at her school site for most of her teaching career, while also judging State speaking competitions and National proficiency contests. She is also a charter member of the Salinas Valley Fair Heritage Foundation. 

Debbie continues to serve as the district CTE coordinator and was instrumental in obtaining two Strong Workforce Grants in 2019 and the Prop 51 Facilities grant in 2017.  She continues to coordinate CTEIG and Perkins grants and applications.  She has traveled to the state capital with students to meet with local representatives to stress the importance of agriculture education in California. 


Mark Clement
Shandon High School 1978-1979, Paso Robles High School 1979-2015, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo 1988

Teacher of Excellence 1993
Honorary American FFA Degree 1990

Mark Clement was raised on a small 15-acre cotton farm in Hanford and worked in his family's meat processing business, where his passion for animal harvesting and meat fabrication was ignited. After graduating Cal Poly with a degree in Food Science and a minor in Animal Science, he embarked on a 37-year agriculture teaching career. Mark introduced the first Drive-Thru-BBQ fundraiser at PRHS, which yielded over $300,000 during his tenure. His energy, humor and positive attitude was a driving force for his students' success. 

He credits his wife of 34 years, Cheryl, for being the stabilizing force that allowed for his successful career. Mark knew the value of serving the CATA. Mark served in all CATA offices at the sectional and regional levels. He attended and collaborated during CATA curricular code meetings for public speaking and judging contests to propel forward new standards and ideas. 

Mark Clements passion inspired his students to serve in the agriculture industry. He supervised more than 20 student teachers, many of whom have become successful agriculture teachers, including 3 of his children. He helped develop the first agricultural curriculum to receive science, fine art, government and economic graduation credit and meet A-G college prep requirements. 

  Joseph Cosentino Jr.

Sanger High School 1970-2004

Teacher of Excellence 1984 
CATA Don Wilson Outstanding Teacher 1995 
Honorary American FFA Degree 1986
Region I NVATA Outstanding Ag Ed Teacher 1995

Joe Cosentino grew up on a forty-acre ranch in Fresno where they produced peaches, apricots, and figs. It was this upbringing that formed his devoted work ethic and dedication to agriculture. Upon high school graduation he attended Fresno City College, then served in the Army National Guard until 1971. After city college Joe went on to attend Fresno State where he received his Bachelors degree and his Agricultural Teaching Credential. 

Joe was hired by Sanger High School which was a thirty-four year success story.  Joe has been married to his wife Sandi for thirty-nine years. They have two children and two grandchildren. Joe Cosentino's quiet, humble, hardworking, dedication to agricultural education allowed him to impact the lives of hundreds of students, always giving positive and educated guidance.  

He was extremely devoted to the concept of CATA and proudly served the organization on all levels; section, region and culminating on the state level as secondary chairmen and finally finishing with State Chairman. Joe is an outstanding example of the CATA, he is someone we should all look to emulate.


James E. Drew 
Elk Creek High School 1975-1977, Nevada Union High School 1977-2011

Teacher of Excellence 1986

Jim was raised in Nevada County. After a short stint away attending Chico State and teaching in Elk Creek, he returned to his alma mater to become a cornerstone at Nevada Union High School.  The impact that Jim Drew has had on the Nevada Union Agriculture program is difficult to capture on a single sheet of fiber: After lean times in the eighties; he revitalized the program and brought it back from the reduced 1.5 positions and into the vital three-person program that it is today.  

He worked tirelessly with a rotating door of district and site administrations as well as close work with the community to protect and enhance not only the Ag program, but also to protect the district faculty by serving as the district union president. In addition to his teaching hours, Drew has spent many hours volunteering.  He is a leader with the Nevada County Livestock Producers, Nevada County Ag Youth Boosters, Nevada Union FFA Boosters.  

Drew has been through sectional, regional and state CATA leadership chairs, serving as CATA president in 2008/2009.  His efforts as a California FFA Foundation member are truly monumental as he was on the ground floor and provided critical momentum that was needed for the Foundation to make the State FFA Center in Galt a reality.  The association now has use of its own beautiful brick and mortar building to conduct business and leadership activities for the members. Jim is a devoted father, stepfather and grandfather and husband to his wife Karen.

 Annette O'Kelley

Annette O'Kelley 
Santa Rosa High School 1981-1994, Elsie Allen High School 1994-2015

Teacher of Excellence 1993 
Honorary American FFA Degree 2004

Annette was born and raised in Santa Rosa, CA.  She bred and showed beef cattle in 4-H and FFA. Her first teaching job was at Santa Rosa High School; her alma mater. 

She transferred to Elsie Allen High School to establish a new program. While at EAHS she built a school farm, greenhouse, and secured a $2.7 million grant to modernize and expand the existing facility to include an Ag Mechanics shop, computer lab and a science lab. She regularly collaborated with the EAHS Science Department on curriculum development. She formed a strong Agriculture Boosters Association, which raised over 3/4 of a million dollars.

With her determination and guidance, the program grew and flourished with state-of-the-art facilities and three teachers.  Annette's focus was always on her students, many of whom came from nonagricultural backgrounds with modest means.  Her development leaders included the 2002-2003 National FFA President, as well as several students and student teachers who continue to serve our industry and profession. 

She was a section and region CATA Officer and master teacher. She retired after teaching for 34 years and continues to mentor teachers, serve on Agriculture Advisories and as a Board Director for the Sonoma County Fair.  Her judgement and guidance continues to improve the opportunities for all youth in agriculture in her community. 


Rose Ann Vuich

California State Senator, 15th District 1976-1992

Rose Ann Vuich was born to Serbian immigrant parents in Cutler in 1927. The family farmed olives and fruit trees. Rose Ann continued to farm and became an accountant in Dinuba where she befriended Jim Young, the Ag teacher there. He shared with her the struggles he had in procuring projects and assets to give his students the best experiences. 

In 1976, she won a State Senate Seat becoming the first woman in that position in state history. She was co-author of SB 187 and supported SB 813 that provided for the state staff in Ag education, the Quality Criteria and the Ag Incentive Grant that we all know today. She remained a staunch advocate of Ag Education and the Ag industry for the duration of her 16-year political career. She routinely brought boxes of fruit to the Senate Chamber to remind her colleagues of the importance of agriculture to the California Economy.

As a result of Ms. Vuich's work, California's Ag students have continued to be trained and qualified to take their place in the Ag industry. Their success even today can be traced to the conversations that a farmer/accountant/legislator had with her local small town Ag teacher so many years ago.