NM Ag in the Classroom Award

NM Ag in the Classroom 2017 Teachers of the Year Jessica Bouloiseau, Ashley Cartwright, Abigail Husson-Matter, Lucia Gutierrez and Silvia Mariscal, accept their awards from Traci Curry of Ag in the Classroom and NM Farm & Livestock Bureau CEO Chad Smith, during a recognition ceremony at East Picacho Elementary.

Based on their ability to consistently incorporate agricultural education into their teaching curriculum, Jessica Bouloiseau, Ashley Cartwright, Lucia Gutierrez, Abigail Husson-Matter and Silvia Mariscal, all teachers at East Picacho Elementary School, each received the New Mexico Teacher of the Year Award from the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau’s New Mexico Agriculture in the Classroom Program (NMAITC). This is the first time in the program’s 16-year history that the annual award was presented to not one, but five simultaneous recipients.

“The pioneering spirit these educators have shown highlights their commitment to providing the best educational experience for our students,” said LCPS Interim Superintendent Dr. Steven Sanchez. “This is a tremendous honor, and I am thrilled to see the innovative practices these teachers have put into place.”

As part of the award, all of the teachers were honored at the New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau’s 98th Annual Conference, Nov. 18 in Albuquerque, NM, and the New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau hosted a recognition ceremony and provided a special staff thank you luncheon at East Picacho Elementary School.

In addition, each teacher received a $500 stipend from NMAITC and the team will go on compete for the 2017 National Agriculture in the Classroom Excellence in Teaching Award at the organization’s national conference in Kansas City, MO.

The team was selected for the award due in part to the team’s project-based learning activities during the 2016-17 school year which included: constructing several raised garden boxes, construction and maintenance of a chicken coop, community-based field trips revolving around agriculture, presentations by local experts, and garden to table cooking activities in the classroom. These activities also incorporated a variety lessons that covered a wide range of academic subjects such as math, language arts and science.

“As an administrator, I am incredibly proud and humbled by the work of this group and how they have impacted our entire school,” said East Picacho Elementary School Principal Nubia Tarazona.

The awards program was judged by a panel of three judges that was composed of officials from the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau Livestock Foundation Board and previous NMAITC Teacher of the Year winners. Since the awards program was designed to recognize non-agriculture teachers who incorporate agriculture into general education curriculum, the competition was only open to active kindergarten- through 12th-grade, general education teachers in New Mexico.

The New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau is a 19,000 member organization comprised of farmers, ranchers, and those who are interested in private property rights and a local food supply. The NMAITC is a non-profit educational outreach program, funded primarily by the membership of the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau, designed to educate the general public, with an emphasis on K-12 students and educators, about the importance of agriculture.

For more information, contact LCPS Communications Coordinator Paul Dahlgren at: (575) 527-5808 or pdahlgren@lcps.net.

The NM Ag in the Classroom Teachers of the Year received customized belt buckles as awards for the recognition.

The NM Ag in the Classroom Teachers of the Year received customized belt buckles as awards for the recognition.