“When I look back on my high school experience, I won’t remember the grade I received on my final chemistry exam,” said Macon High School senior, Shelbe Butner. “I am going to remember Professor Womack’s class, because he knows how to connect with every student and get them excited about learning. Taking his class and meeting him, in general, has changed my life for the better.”
Womack was born on October 13, 1978, and was raised by his parents in Clark County, Missouri. He was just like any other small town, country boy growing up. He helped his father maintain the family farm and showed cattle locally. He attended Clark County R-1 School District from first grade until his senior year of high school.
As a high school student, he was tremendously active in his FFA chapter.
Womack held officer positions his junior and senior year, was accepted to play in the National FFA Band, and earned his State and American FFA degrees before graduation. Womack said he thoroughly enjoyed his time in FFA, but admits the experience would not have been the same without his high school FFA adviser who encouraged him to become an agriculture instructor.
“My FFA adviser had a huge impact on where I attended college, and what I decided to study,” Womack said. “Without his help and support, who knows what I would be doing.”
Womack attended the University of Missouri and graduated with an Agricultural Education degree in May 2001. Before graduation, he said he was not certain he had made the right decision in becoming an educator.
“There for awhile, I didn’t think I wanted to become a teacher, but after taking a student teaching position in Eldon, it completely changed my mind, and I knew I made the right decision,” Womack said.
Womack has been an agriculture instructor and FFA adviser for 14 years. He began his teaching career at Keytesville High School, where he spent two years before moving on to Macon R-1 High School, where he currently teaches.
“There was an opening spot in the agriculture department at Macon, so I decided to give them a call,” Womack said. “Everything worked out and has been a great experience ever since.”
As a college student, Womack studied abroad in Northern Ireland and decided traveling to a different country was an opportunity every student should have. During his first year teaching at Macon, he introduced the idea of creating an International Agriculture study abroad program. According to Womack, at first there were many complications with getting the program started, but once it was accepted, every trip taken has been a success.
“Mr. Womack was the creator and is the leader of International Agriculture at Macon High School,” said Jessica Young, sophomore Mizzou student and Macon alum. “It is the only high school study abroad program in the state of Missouri.”
Every school year, Womack gathers a different group of students to travel internationally to learn about the diversity of agriculture in other countries compared to what we have in Missouri. The current International Agriculture groups organize fundraisers to cover the costs of the trips.
“We have a wonderful community that is always willing to help students be able to experience such an opportunity,” said Young, who traveled to Greece during her time at Macon High School.
Womack has taken his students to Canada, Australia, Greece, Ireland, and is currently fundraising with a new group of students to travel to Scandinavia next summer.
As Womack is working on his 15th year of teaching, fundraising, and staying busy year around, he has continued support from his wife, Melissa. The couple is also expecting their first baby (a boy) in less than a month. Although he has a lot on his plate, he said he plans to continue the study abroad program until further notice, because he knows these are chances of a lifetime for his students.
There is no question that Womack has a true passion for his job, agriculture, and interacting with students. According to several students, fellow faculty members, and parents, he has not only fulfilled his obligations as an instructor, but also exceeded them beyond measure.
“Mr. Womack is not just a teacher, but a person that truly makes a difference in his students’ lives,” said Jenae Young, former agriculture student and Jessica Young’s mother. “He does so much for his students, the school and community. I am sorry for those who never had the opportunity to get to know him, because he has truly made an impact not just on my daughter, but our family.”