Congratulations to our 2018 NYAITC Teacher of the Year, in the high school division, Sue Kendzierski!
New York Agriculture in the Classroom (NYAITC) is pleased to announce the selection of Sue Kendzierski as one of our 2018 Teachers of the Year. Sue will be representing NYAITC.
Sue has taught English as a New Language for the past 20 years, working with beginning to proficient students, at Flushing High School in Queens. Her 400-year-old neighborhood has been embracing immigrants since the Mid-17th century and Flushing High School, founded in 1875, is New York City's oldest High School and her alma mater. Five years ago, her school adopted the new model of co-teaching and had to learn a multitude of new subjects right along with her students.
Sue began to co-teach with her school's Living Environment teacher, Jen DiMarco, and one of their projects together was helping the students from around the world grow a garden. She was tasked with the challenge of learning what her students could do and was surprised to learn that she could engage them completely through agriculture, even though some of them spoke little to no English.
From seed germination in her green house, to the outdoor Flushing High School garden where lettuce and zucchini grew for the students to taste and see, Sue took her students on a new journey into the future. She is helping her students envision indoor Vertical Gardening, food co-ops in our neighborhood, healthier diets, along with alliances and outreach within their neighborhoods with businesses where future graduates can reach their endeavors of part-time and/or full-time employment in the food services/ building/ and or commerce industries.
Sue Kendzierski is an outstanding example of a progressive and impassioned educator who believes in the importance of her students understanding and appreciating our food and fiber systems in their community. Sue will be awarded an expense paid opportunity to attend the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Portland, Maine in June supported by New York Agriculture in the Classroom. This exceptional professional development opportunity will allow her the chance to meet and learn from educators across the country, and become exposed to even more classroom resources and tools to teach through and about agriculture.