School: DeKalb High School
Subjects: Horticulture, Animal Science, Plant Science
Number of years teaching: 11
Farm Bureau/Ag Literacy connection: I have worked with the Farm Bureau throughout my teaching career. The connection to the Farm Bureau through their various programs is a huge asset to my students. I also served as the Ag Literacy Intern at the Kane County Farm Bureau while I was in college.
What is your favorite unit to teach? I have two favorites, I love teaching Floral Design in my horticulture class. Floral design is something I enjoy greatly and I love to pass that passion on to my students. I also enjoy my Veterinary Skills unit in Animal Science because my students love learning those skills.
What do you enjoy most about teaching? I enjoy seeing my students find success after high school.
What is something unique that you do in your schools? We do a native fish tag and release program in our Animal Science classes.
Why is it important for students to learn about food and farming? Agriculture impacts every person on this planet and most students don’t understand that. I think it’s very important for students to know how agriculture impacts them and how they can impact agriculture.
Share one memorable teaching story: I do have one memory that always pops back into my mind during the holiday season. Several years ago right before winter break, a few of my students stayed after school one day to wrap some gifts we were donating to charity for the holidays. I left them in my room to wrap the gifts while I went to a meeting in the office. When I came back, the students were gone, the gifts were wrapped, but… so was my entire room. They had wrapped my white boards, my desk, my cabinets, everything. When they came back later that night for our FFA holiday party, they thought they were so funny, and so did I!
Family: Husband, Pete, son, Wyatt, daughter, Sadie
College/Degree(s): Bachelor’s and Master’s in Agricultural Education from the University of Illinois
What did you want to be when you grew up? When I was young I wanted to be a dolphin trainer.
Quote: “The day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit.” Fabienne Fredrickson
Hobbies: Horseback riding, gardening
Book: “A Thousand Acres” by Jane Smiley
TV Show: “The Office”
Travel Destination: Any national park