Gary Doyle Lee
Gary Doyle Lee was born on October 4, 1946 in O'Brien, Florida. He was raised with his seven siblings, including a fraternal twin, and graduated from Branford High School. After graduating from Lake City Community College in 1966, Gary was accepted to the University of Florida where he earned his bachelor's degree in agricultural education in 1968, followed later by his master’s degree in 1973. Upon completion of his undergraduate degree Gary quickly found a position with the Polk County school system where he worked for seven years until 1975. He then accepted a job with the Florida Department of Education as the Region III Agricultural Consultant, a position he held for three years.
In 1978 Gary came to Highlands County to become Coordinator of Career and Technical Education, a post he held for 28 years. He worked to develop agricultural education programs in schools that had none by explaining the importance and value of teaching youth about agriculture and developing their leadership skills through FFA. He was known not just in the county but in the district and throughout the state as "Mr. FFA." Over the years he has been advisor to three state-winning parliamentary procedure teams. His knowledge of agricultural education, his integrity and sense of duty, and his work ethic have been second to none.
Gary has also held other professional positions, including Director and Past President of the Florida FFA Alumni Association and secretary since 1983. Gary is a charter member of the Sebring FFA Alumni Association. During his outstanding career, Gary has been recognized with honorary membership in six FFA chapters, as well as the Honorary State FFA Degree and Honorary American FFA Degree. He has received National FFA Alumni’s Legion of Merit Citation for 19 continuous years in recognition of his outstanding FFA Alumni membership development efforts. He was also the recipient of the National FFA Alumni Achievement Award in 2011.
Gary retired in 2006 after 38 years of teaching and administration. Still longing to be an active agricultural educator, Gary became a part-time Resource Teacher for Agriculture in Highlands County. He continues in this position today, where he coaches FFA parliamentary procedure teams and helps FFA advisors and members achieve success in many program areas. He is a continuous volunteer with Ag Ventures, a local program that promotes agriculture in the classroom. Gary hopes to one day be fully retired so he can travel and spend more time with his grandchildren.