Beginning Teacher Starts Successful Animal Science Program at West Caldwell High School

LENOIR, NC (November 5, 2021) — West Caldwell High School expanded its Career and Technical Education options by introducing Animal Science into the course selection last spring, which generated the interest of more than 180 students who registered for this first-time class offered in the Caldwell County Schools.

“The desire to start an Animal Science program was in my heart when I was hired at West Caldwell,” said MaKayla White, horticulture teacher. “In my interview I expressed a desire and need for there to be an Animal Science program at the school due to the rich agriculture community, and they (school administration) were all for the starting of a new program.”

As a beginning teacher, White took on a mammoth project to build a functional farm on campus. Her colleagues, students, and the community are helping her to realize this educational vision. Already, several phases of the plan are done with the assistance of the West Caldwell carpentry classes building the lean-to portion of the future barn facility, district maintenance department clearing land, and support from CTE for fencing materials, a portion of the barn, and animal science equipment.

With sponsorship, White has secured a majority of the funding to finish the barn construction, and through donations, farm animals are grazing along the hillside near the greenhouse.

To solidify her intent and wherewithal on this project, White shares with students that she was born and raised on a nearby poultry farm. When she entered high school, she took classes in horticulture and joined Future Farmers of America. Her interest in farming continued. She attended Wilkes Community College, completed an associate’s degree in Horticulture, and then graduated from NC State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Education in 2020 when she accepted her first teaching job at West Caldwell High School.

“She is the real deal. Everything that she says comes to life,” said Craig Styron, Principal, West Caldwell High School.

To donate to the West Caldwell High School Animal Science program, call 828-758-5583 or email

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