Jessica Pittman, a first grade teacher in Caroline County, has been named Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom 2017 Teacher of the Year.
The award recognizes a Virginia educator for efforts in incorporating agriculture into his or her core curriculum.
“Jessica uses agricultural concepts daily in her classroom as the real-life examples to demonstrate required core curriculum,” said Tammy Maxey, AITC senior education manager. “Through Jessica’s efforts, her students are gaining a greater appreciation for agriculture, as well as an improved understanding that food begins on the farm.”
Pittman uses a multifaceted approach to incorporating agriculture into her first grade classroom and school community at Bowling Green Elementary School. She uses an indoor tower garden to teach plant science, organizes presentations by a local dairy cooperative to teach children about animal agriculture and occasionally brings her own livestock to the school.
She and her husband, Ben, own and operate Hopeful Dreams Farm in Hanover County. She is an active member of Hanover County Farm Bureau and continues to seek out opportunities to educate the public about agriculture’s importance.
As Virginia AITC Teacher of the Year she will receive a scholarship to attend the 2017 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in June in Kansas City, Mo., and a $500 award.
Virginia AITC also recognized four finalists. Each will receive registration to the National AITC Conference: Karen Dash of Crestview Elementary School in Henrico County, Jessica Drahms of Grange Hall Elementary School in Chesterfield County, Susan Spranger of Patrick Henry Elementary School in Arlington and Diana Webber of Albemarle High School in Charlottesville.