Schools: Southeast Elementary, Sycamore
Number of years teaching: 15
Farm Bureau/Ag Literacy connection: I love participating in the Ag in the Classroom presentations each year and have enjoyed completing the Summer Ag Institute for teachers several times.
What is your favorite unit to teach? My favorite unit is our Mystery Science unit titled Power of Flowers. We learn all about pollination, the life cycles of plants such as apples and pumpkins and how new variations are created. This unit is so much fun to teach in the fall as we take a field trip to a local orchard and Sycamore Pumpkin Fest!
What do you enjoy most about teaching? Being able to give students hands-on experiences inside our classroom, in our school gardens and in our community.
What is something unique that you do in your schools? I like to incorporate games into our learning as much as possible. Everyone loves to have fun and if we can learn while doing it, it’s a win-win!
Why is it important for students to learn about food and farming? Food and farming goes well beyond what students see in the grocery store. I think it’s important for the next generation to know where their food comes from and how important farms are.
Share one memorable teaching story: One of my students was writing about learning how to make a stool from his dad. While conferencing with him, I joked that I needed a stool because I am not very tall. This student remembered me saying that and gifted me with a stool that he made completely on his own at the end of the school year. It is something I will treasure forever!
Family: Husband, Brent, and children, Foster and Devyn
College/Degree(s): Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Communications from NIU; Master’s Degrees in Education and Reading Instruction from Aurora University
What did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a teacher or a journalist.
Quote: “If you do the things you need to do when you need to do them, then someday you can do the things you want to do when you want to do them.” John C. Maxwell
Hobby: Spending time with family at Delavan Lake
Book: “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio
Music: Country and Jimmy Buffett
Sports teams: Chicago Cubs and Bears
TV Show: HGTV
Travel Destination: Any tropical beach