School: Founders Elementary, DeKalb
Subjects: All Subjects
Number of years teaching: 32 years
Farm Bureau/Ag Literacy connection: I have utilized the Ag in the Classroom presentations, attended the Summer Ag Institute at the Farm Bureau, and I am the Ag Literacy Ambassador for Founders Elementary.
What is your favorite unit to teach? I love teaching the chick embryology unit. It is such a joy, every year, to share the process of metamorphosis. Learning about the life cycle instills the importance of patience and responsibility toward living things.
What do you enjoy most about teaching? Relationships are what I most enjoy about teaching. I enjoy the interactions, learning from them, and helping them to see a connection to their own lives.
What is something unique that you do in your classroom? I bring in nature items from our family farm so the children can experience something new. Examples include: beehive frames, milkweed pods, monarch butterfly caterpillars and more.
Why is it important for students to learn about food and farming? Food is essential to life so it is important to understand where it comes from.
Family: Husband, Joe with IL Dept. of Agriculture; children Lizzy (Nathan) – art teacher in Rochester, Andrew – graphic designer in Chicago, Sam – with Pizzo & Associates; grandchildren Jack, Evie, Joey, Henry.
College/Degree(s): Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Eastern Illinois University; Master’s Degree as a Reading Specialist from Eastern Illinois University, and additional credit hours in outdoor education, classroom management, and Spanish
What did you want to be when you grew up? I’ve known I wanted to be a teacher since I was in first grade. I took my math workbook home, without asking, and graded it myself.
Quote: “Whatever you are, be a good one!” Abraham Lincoln
Hobbies: Flower gardening, jigsaw puzzles, camping, reading, painting, travelling
Book: “Little House in the Big Woods” by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Sports team: Chicago Cubs
Movie: “On Golden Pond”
Travel destination: I have traveled to all 50 states. Now, I’d like to go to the Major League baseball parks.