The popularity of Animal Science course expands

Rebekah Helms, Staff Reporter

The new Animal Science teacher, Ashley Covington, has a love for agriculture with years of experience. Covington has high hopes for her students to make a career in Animal Science or agriculture in the future.

Covington finds the school to be a welcoming place.

“It’s really like a family, like as far as the staff,” Covington said. “They really accept me as a new teacher.”

Covington knows that the class will expand students’ knowledge of possible careers that can stem from the course of study.

“Animal Science doesn’t just stop with the veterinarian,” Covington said. “There’s so many things you can do with animal science.”

The expanding course this year has more than 70 students.

“We are very excited about expanding the program!” Animal Science teacher Justine Ellis said. “We’ve added a third teacher. This will give more students the opportunity to learn.”

Covington attended North Carolina State University and got her Masters in Agricultural Education and a Bachelors in agricultural Economics.  Since then Covington has worked with Corporate America and dealt with large animals and pasture management.

Over time, Covington’s enthusiasm for her subject was enriched.

“It’s something I developed over the years like a love for agriculture,” Covington said. “It wasn’t something I started off with, and I just like agriculture.”

In the course, students get to experience several animals that visit campus. In the past the NCSU mounted police unit, the WFPD’s canine unit and Wake County Animal Control have provided demonstrations.

This fall mini horses will come to give students a hand on experience in the Equine Science I class.

Later, as students progress through the course sequence to the level three Veterinary Assisting class, 10 students will take part in an intensive industry work experience at North Wake Animal Hospital.

Covington hopes her students continue their interest and education in animal science.

Covington said, “Especially in my Animal Science II class, a lot of the students have already kind of developed their passion, I believe that most of them will either, if they’re not going into animals, they’re definitely going into agriculture.”