For Immediate Release:
HERSHEY, Pa. – Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s (PFB) Agriculture Promotion Committee has selected Montgomery County teacher Blake Campbell as the 2022 Teacher of the Year. The award was presented during PFB’s 72nd Annual Meeting.
Campbell teaches Kindergarten-2nd grade students in a Special Education Life Skills class at St. Katherine School. This year, she was able to promote agriculture when her classroom adopted a cow named Mae. This allowed her students to grow an understanding of farm life.
With students who need new and different ways to learn, Campbell used her creativity to tell the story of agriculture in her classroom. She read aloud the classic fable, Little Red Hen, and took her students on multiple virtual farm tours from the comfort of their own classroom.
“Since I work with students with multiple impairments, I use visuals and concrete language to communicate main ideas.” she said.
Campbell also used monthly themes to get her students into the rhythm of agriculture education. As September led into Fall, she taught them about the apple lifecycle and helped them make homemade applesauce. In February, they used the theme “Heart Health” to learn about healthy eating and where you can find ingredients before they get to the grocery store.
Though it can be difficult to judge just how much of an impact the ag lessons have had on her students, Campbell says, “I do know that I personally have a better appreciation for the role that farmers play in our lives, and I feel that in turn my enthusiasm and excitement transfers onto my students.”
The Agriculture Promotion Committee, in partnership with the PA Friends of Agriculture Foundation, chose Campbell because of her commitment to helping her students learn about agriculture, even when things get difficult. Though her class faces many special challenges, and they are located closer to the city than the rural areas of Pennsylvania, Campbell has gone the extra mile to bring these concepts into her students lives.
“Blake’s classroom is a success story. Her commitment to agriculture education is very valuable,” said Chris Hoffman, Chairman of the Ag Promo Committee.