Where Are They Now: Dexter Arkadie, Agriculture Teacher
December 10 – Dexter Arkadie grew up in a rural area and frequently spent his time caring for animals, particularly horses and cows. With this budding familiarity in agriculture, he developed a passion for helping animals and knew it would be something he wanted to do for life. This prompted him to attend Prairie View A&M University and purse a degree in Animal Science in 1974.
“My senior year of high school, I worked for a veterinarian. I told myself after graduating that I would study pre-vet or animal science to go on and go to vet school,” said Arkadie. Surprisingly, after arriving on campus, those plans changed. During his freshman orientation, Arkadie met Dr. Knox who encouraged him to change his major to Agriculture Education and obtain a teaching certificate. Dr. Knox said the change would increase his employment odds after graduation.
During his studies in the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences as an undergrad, Arkadie took advantage of all of the learning opportunities available including working for the Soil Conservation Service each summer. He made great friends and found great mentors in a number of professors including Dr. Alfred Poindexter, Dr. Cecil Strickland, and Mr. Lindsay Weatherspoon. After graduating in 1978, he worked for a steel company for two years, then returned to the field to teach agriculture education at MacArthur High School in Aldine Independent School District.
Arkadie has been an Agriculture Teacher for 39 years. He leads his students by getting them to prepare for their future. “A lot of students come in, and they want to major in Animal Science. I challenge them to consider where will they work after getting their degree,” said Arkadie. He believes that by encouraging students to pursue a career in agriculture, they will be better prepared for a career after college and still have the flexibility to go after their dreams. He continues to carry on his CAHS experience as he passes on all that he’s learned to his agriculture students.