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AITC Teacher of the Year named


(Kevin Daugherty, IAITC, Amanda Stanko, IAITC Teacher of the Year, Carrie Vogel, McLean County Ag Literacy Coordinator)

The Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom (IAITC) program is pleased to announce the 2024 Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year, Amanda Stanko, of Corpus Christi Catholic School in Bloomington.


Stanko will be recognized at the 2023 Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Chicago and will receive a trip to the 2024 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. She will also be the Illinois nominee for the USDA National Excellence in Teaching Agriculture Award.


As the STEM teacher at Corpus Christi, she works with over 275 K-6th grade students challenging these non-ag students to think outside the box utilizing real world problems and solutions. Amanda’s lessons include everything from plant life cycles, to utilizing farm products daily, to growing a ‘Giving Garden’ to support the school cafeteria and local food bank. Students learn at an appropriate level with Kindergartners making butter with their adopted cow, and 6th graders testing and amending soil after each growing season. Her passion for integrating agriculture has led her to enroll in a Master of Agricultural Education program with the hope of providing an FFA chapter at her school in the future.


Congratulations may be addressed to:

Amanda Stanko

Corpus Christi Catholic School

1909 E. Lincoln Street

Bloomington, IL 61701


Runner-up:

Codie Koester, Warren High School, Warren, Jo Daviess County has been selected as the 2024 Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year Runner-up. As the Family and Consumer Sciences teacher at Warren High School, Codie has a way of teaching her students about food and how to prepare it, but also how all agriculture, specifically local agriculture, plays a role in that food. When taking students to a local hog farm and locker plant during the pork unit, an emphasis on food safety and careers is established. She partners with her school’s ag teacher for many activities, and she is also involved in local agriculture issues. As the runner up, she will be the Illinois nominee for the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture White Reinhart Award.

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