2004 National Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award
Mr. Steven Tanguay
is a seventh grade teacher of Economics, History, and Agriculture at Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast, Maine. He has developed a complete curriculum that integrates middle school academic concepts with sustainable agricultural production practices in a garden, orchard and green house setting.
Students in his program develop and run businesses while learning the economics of producing their own food. His program is an excellent venue for utilizing laptop computers and scientific probeware for spreadsheets, web design, data collection, word processing, marketing and documentary films. Trained first as apprentices, then graduating to "employee" status in one of three divisions (garden, seed and compost) within the school Garden Company, students learn individual responsibilities that lead to the divisions' success. Students manage the garden/greenhouse, save heirloom seeds, produce organic fertilizers (composting), and provide foods that are distributed to students directly, the school cafeteria, the community and local soup kitchens. During the past two years students have harvested and redistributed approximately 7,000 pounds of all natural food and flowers.
Mr. Don White
is the Agricultural Coordinator at Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast, Maine and Waldo County's Conservation Teacher of the Year. He oversees large gardens of vegetables, herbs and flowers, a food producing greenhouse and a small fruit orchard. He provides direct support to Lead Teacher, Steven Tanguay, in the School Garden and Greenhouse Project using plants, flowers and herbs in their many forms to help students reconnect with their environment and the true sources of their daily needs (food, clothing, fuel).
Today he works with students, staff and the local community to provide a laboratory for agriculture based learning. From planting to harvest students experiment in germination and testing, pest control, weather studies and soil amendments.
Steven Tanguay and Don White were recently presented with the "Making the Grade Award" by Maine's State Board of Education for a truly outstanding integrated teaching program that brings experiential education into the regular classroom. This honor is reserved for exceptional teaching programs/ curriculum that motivate students, directly addresses Maine and National Learning Standards and demonstrates high student achievement.