2008 National Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award
Mr. David Finlay, Maine
The Lubec Consolidated School (LCS) Agriculture curriculum provides the framework for students in grades 6-12 to learn biological sciences, math and literacy through the application and study of sustainable agriculture and agriculture. David Finlay's classroom contains several large tanks, with the total capacity of over 10,000 gallons that are home to Tilapia and other ornamental fish species, many of which are set up to resemble natural wetland ecosystems. The wastewater from the tanks flows through an attached green¬house where the students grow vegetables and flowers. The vegetables are served in the school cafeteria and the flowers are planted around the school or sold at the annual spring sale. The ornamental fish are bred and sold to the local pet shops. The Tilapia are harvested, eaten by the students or marketed through local farms. David places a strong focus on promoting agricultural literacy through the use of distance education. The LCS students collaborate with students and teachers across the state through distance education courses and showcase the use of agriculture and agriculture in their classroom to other school systems via the hosting of virtual field trips.
David Finlay has taught science for four years in the small rural school of Lubec Consolidated School for grade six through twelve. He received the Washington County Distance Educator of the Year Award for 2007.