For Immediate Release: November 17, 2021
HERSHEY, Pa. – Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s (PFB) Agriculture Promotion Committee has selected Adams County teacher Wendy Stoner as the 2021 Teacher of the Year. The award was presented during PFB’s 71st Annual Meeting.
Stoner teaches 1st grade students at Conewego Township Elementary School. She was able to incorporate more agriculture-related activities into her curriculum after participating in the Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture Foundation’s Educator’s Ag Institute.
“I thought agriculture is the perfect add-on to our curriculum to grab a first grader’s attention and interest in learning,” said Stoner. “Agriculture has plants, animals, dirt, food and machinery. Basically, it has something for every student’s interest level.”
With the 2020-21 school year being disrupted due to COVID, Stoner had to retool much of her class preparation to navigate an unpredictable year. She developed online activities, had her class adopt a cow, and participate in virtual farm tours hosted by local farmers.
“This year was a bit different with not knowing whether the children would be in person or be online learning,” she said.
Stoner also had her class complete a “Garden in a Glove” project, in which students sprouted pumpkin seeds inside a clear glove, and then were able to take their plants home to plant and watch them grow throughout the year. She also created an area in the back of her classroom painted to resemble a barn to house agriculturally themed books and activities.
“Wendy is a true success story for our Ag Educator’s Institute,” said Agriculture Promotion Committee Chair Chris Hoffman, who also serves as PFB Vice President. “Teachers participating in the institute help the foundation meet its mission of promoting and preserving agriculture by placing a special emphasis on educational programs for children across the Commonwealth.”
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.