Teacher Center

2004 National Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award

Ms. Cathey Anderson

Fourth grade teacher Cathey Anderson has changed the course of elementary education in her community of Valley Center in San Diego County, California. Eleven years ago -- just one year into teaching -- she began to graft Agriculture in the Classroom techniques onto her emerging teaching style. What has blossomed over the years has impacted thousands of students, their parents, and even the bottom line for funding some of the basics in her district.

Cathey has utilized a variety of unique and ambitious programs to increase agricultural awareness of Valley Center's youth. Ranging from a daily egg production project to an annual district-wide Salute to Agriculture, Cathey has heightened both the appreciation of agriculture and the awareness of its value in our everyday lives.

While she works diligently to address all learning styles in her classroom, the kinesthetic (hands-on) approach to learning helps Cathey reach even the students who find a standard classroom setting difficult to endure. "Agriculture has a way of motivating and captivating all who are involved," she says. Cathey firmly believes it is agriculture that helps all her students "connect, grow and feel successful."

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