School: Sycamore High School
Grades: 8 – 12
Subjects: Agriculture Sciences
Number of years teaching: 18
Farm Bureau/Ag Literacy connection: I have been a Farm Bureau member for years and when I became a teacher I connected my students to the Farm Bureau through Ag in the Classroom presentations, co-hosting the 8th Grade Farm Field Trip, and various other activities.
What is your favorite unit to teach? I love teaching about the heart in my ag science class! We learn about the circulatory system and in the end we dissect cow and pig hearts. I love making the connection to the human heart since they are so similar and the kids love it.
What do you enjoy most about teaching? I love the connections that I make with my students in the classroom and through FFA events. I have many former students who I keep in touch with many years later which is very special to me. Also, I love that no two days are the same. I could be planting in the greenhouse one day, dissecting hearts the next, and welding another.
Why is it important for students to learn about food and farming? It is crucial for students to understand that there is more to farming than animals and plants. The process of their food ending up on their table has so many moving parts. I want them to also learn to be advocates for agriculture in our community.
Share something memorable from your work. If you were to look at the teachers in Section 6 (local ag teachers), three of them were former students and two of them were my student teachers. It is fun to see my family tree in agriculture education grow and I love knowing that I had a hand in helping them pursue their passion.
Hometown: Maple Park
Family: Husband, Jared, and two children, Westin (9) and Faith (7); we raise Shropshire sheep
College/Degree(s): Bachelor’s Degree in Ag Education from the University of Illinois; Master’s Degree in Agriculture Education from University of Illinois; Master’s Degree in Education Administration from Aurora University
What did you want to be when you grew up? A teacher – I remember giving a speech in 2nd grade stating I wanted to be a teacher.
Quote: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Confucius
Hobbies: Golfing, showing sheep
Sports team: Illini Basketball
TV show: “Yellowstone”
Travel destination: Anywhere tropical