Patricia Wolfe Selected for 2020 National Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award
Each year, the National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization (NAITCO), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Farm Credit partner to honor teachers in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade from across the country for the innovative ways they use agricultural concepts to teach reading, writing, math, science, social studies, STEM, STEAM, and more. Patricia Wolfe, Special Education Teacher at Lakemary Center, was one of eight teachers selected as the 2020 National Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award winners!
Patricia has been teaching at Lakemary for five years, serving students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other intellectual/developmental disabilities. She develops her own curriculum with resources from National Agriculture in the Classroom and the Kansas Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom. Patricia primarily leads classes at Lakemary Ranch, an animal and garden therapy center that serves as an extension of Lakemary School. The Ranch provides therapy, education, and recreation for students, and is home to chickens, rabbits, goats, pigs, dogs, and a miniature horse. These animals help students express their feelings, learn healthy behaviors, and improve their self-esteem. Classrooms also plant, tend, and harvest a raised bed of vegetables in the high tunnel greenhouse.
Patricia was also named the 2020 Janet Sims Memorial Teacher of the Year by the Kansas Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom (KFAC). She was honored last November at the 2019 KFAC Annual Meeting in Manhattan, Kansas.
“Helping children understand where their food comes from and how to care for animals is so rewarding,” says Patricia. “The ‘AHA!’ moments, like when a student harvests the vegetables they’ve planted and realizes the fruits of their labor, are some of my favorites. Students can learn so many things from this kind of hands-on learning.”
On June 17, Patricia received her award from National Agriculture in the Classroom. Watch the virtual presentation on Facebook.
If you’re looking for a rewarding career where you can make a positive difference in the lives of others, browse our open jobs and apply today!