Newport News educator named Agriculture in the Classroom’s Teacher of the Year

newspaperJennifer Massengill, a science and technology teacher at Hampton Roads Academy, has been named Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom 2018 Teacher of the Year.

The award recognizes a Virginia educator for incorporating agriculture into his or her core curriculum.

“Jennifer uses her extensive school garden as the jumping-off point for real-life, hands-on examples to demonstrate required core curriculum such as science, technology and language arts.” said Tammy Maxey, AITC senior education manager. “Through Jennifer’s efforts, her students are gaining a greater appreciation for agriculture, as well as an improved understanding that food begins on the farm.”

Massengill’s goal has been to involve each student with the garden. Through science classes, blog groups, afternoon garden club activities and morning cooking classes, those experiences provide meaningful, real-life context to required Virginia Standards of Learning.

As Virginia AITC Teacher of the Year Massengill will receive a scholarship to attend the 2018 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in June in Portland, Maine, and a $500 award.

Virginia AITC also recognized two finalists, who will receive registration to the National AITC Conference: Christine Miller of Swift Creek Elementary School in Chesterfield County and Chris Ratliff of McCleary Elementary School in Craig County.

Agriculture in the Classroom is a national program that promotes greater understanding of agriculture through education. The Virginia Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom is a nonprofit organization that receives financial and administrative support from Virginia Farm Bureau Federation.