Illinois teacher named national ag education award winner

A central Illinois teacher has been named as a National Excellence in Teaching About Agriculture Award winner. 

Amanda Stanko is a STEM and preschool teacher with Corpus Christi Catholic School in Bloomington, Illinois.  She works with nearly 3-hundred students in kindergarten through sixth grade, and says bringing ag to the classroom has been a smooth process…

“I have started utilizing the Illinois Ag in the Classroom program and it just fits seamlessly into a STEM curriculum.”  She says, “They’re both about problem solving, looking at the world and real-world problems, collaborating and cooperating together, learning how to take chances.”

She tells Brownfield her students have embraced the lessons…

“I just wanted to teach them how to grow a small garden,” she says, “and with that came a stewardship platform where they thought we need to create a community garden; and we can grow all of this produce and then give it to a local food bank in our community so that we can give back to other people.”

Stanko hopes to expand her school’s ag offerings.   She’s currently seeking her master’s in ag education with the hope of providing an FFA chapter at her school in the future.

She will be recognized at the 2024 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Stanko was also named the Illinois Ag in the Classroom 2024 Teacher of the Year in December.

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