School: Indian Creek High School
Grades: 9th – 12th Vocational Agriculture
Number of years teaching: 9
Farm Bureau/Ag Literacy connection: I grew up on a family farm and work with the Farm Bureau regularly today through membership & education.
What do you enjoy most about teaching? I enjoy watching the lightbulb moments in students when they understand a concept that was seemingly too challenging.
What is something unique you do in your classroom? I try to consistently talk with my students, rather than at or to them. This allows stronger bonds and connections with the students, which leads to better behavior and understanding of one another in the classroom.
Why is it important for students to learn about food and farming? Agriculture is one of the largest industries in America and it is crucial to our economy, well being and everyday lives. Both education and a deep understanding of the agricultural sciences is necessary to develop young leaders who will one day drive our country forward.
Share one memorable teaching story. When I was teaching a unit for the last portion of the interview process at Indian Creek, I brought in fainting goats for the students. As we were in the shop discussing the goats and how/why they fainted, the Driver’s Education car pulled up and honked the horn in the doorway to the Ag Shop and both goats fainted in front of 25 students who were sure they had died right then and there.
Family: I grew up in a family of 6 on a grain farm. I live close to my home farm with my husband and daughter.
College/Degree(s): Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Education from Western Illinois University, and a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology from Concordia University – Chicago.
What did you want to be when you grew up? A dolphin trainer
Quote: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” Harry S. Truman
Hobbies: Time with family and friends, traveling, crafting
Book: “My Sister’s Keeper” by Jodi Picoult
Sports team: Chicago Blackhawks
TV shows: “The Office” and “How to Get Away with Murder”
Travel destination: Florida, Mexico, anywhere warm and relaxing