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April 4, 2013

Local teacher honored for bringing agriculture to the classroom

There are fewer children than in years past who grow up on farms, but Cooperstown Central School seventh-graders are getting to learn about agriculture firsthand in and outside of the classroom. 

CCS life science teacher Amy Parr was recently recognized locally for her efforts toward providing her students with the opportunity to make connections between the farm and their everyday lives. Parr was presented with the New York Agriculture in the Classroom 2013 Teacher of the Year Award at the middle/high school on March 22. According to NYAITC coordinator Katie Bigness, Parr was selected by an advisory committee in November from six applicants. 

“She had tough competition, but her programs are so innovative and creative that she truly stood out,” Bigness said.

Bigness said Parr’s sister nominated her for the state award without her knowing, so when Parr was notified, it came as a surprise. 

Parr, who got her first full-time position with CCS 16 years ago, called the recognition “humbling.” 

“All of these years I thought I was just having fun doing the things that I love and doing the things I thought were important. I wanted to make science come to life for my students,” she said. 

NYAITC’s mission is to foster awareness, understanding and appreciation of how people produce food and fiber, what people eat and how they live, by helping educators, students and their communities learn about and engage with agriculture and food systems. Established in 1985, NYAITC is a partnership of Cornell University, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, the state Education Department, Cornell Cooperative Extension and the New York Farm Bureau. The program works with pre-K through middle school teachers, Cornell Cooperative Extension and other community educators, farmers and producers, volunteers, parents and community partners to increase agricultural literacy in the state. 

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