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New York Educators Earn National Ag Teaching Excellence Award
New York Ag Connection - 03/16/2023

Clayton and Megan Kappauf, Oxford, N.Y., have been selected as two of eight recipients of the 2023 National Excellence in Teaching About Agriculture Award.

The National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization (NAITCO), U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture and Farm Credit partner each year to honor teachers in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade from around the country for the innovative ways they use agricultural concepts to teach reading, writing, math, science, social studies, STEM, STEAM and more.

New York Agriculture in the Classroom recognizes an exceptional teacher, or teachers, who embody a passion for teaching through a lens of agriculture in their curriculum each year. We are proud to announce Megan and Clayton Kappauf, educators at Oxford Primary School, as the 2023 Teachers of the Year. The Kappaufs have created a unique classroom environment where students are actively engaged in authentic and hands-on learning through integrating food and agriculture, and they are well-deserving of this recognition.

"National Agriculture in the Classroom is honored to recognize and celebrate these talented teachers for their innovative approach to teaching core academic concepts through the lens of food and agriculture," said NAITCO President and New York Agriculture in the Classroom Director Katie Carpenter. "Their effort to provide authentic learning experiences for their students is critical to creating an agriculturally literate generation who understands and appreciates the source and value of agriculture in their daily lives."

The Kappaufs will be representing New York Agriculture in the Classroom as model educators who incorporates agriculture as a context for learning in their pre-kindergarten and STEAM classrooms in Oxford. The Kappaufs have three aeroponic tower gardens to captivate students, and the towers serve as a tool for a real-world approach to reinforce core academic content in math, science, English, social studies, and art.

Additional teachers being honored as this year's winning teachers are:


- Jessica Rettler, Plainfield, Wis.

- Haley Broussard, Erath, La.

- Melody Thieme, St. George, Utah

- Monica Massei, Winder, Ga.

- Stacey Sanborn, Windham, Maine


- Kendel Hayden, Owensboro, Ky.

- Jennifer Hatch, Rocky Mount, Va.

The Kappaufs will be honored at the 2023 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference taking place June 26-29 in Orlando, Fla.

For more information about the New York Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year program, visit the website at New York Agriculture in the Classroom is an outreach program of Cornell University. Working with classroom teachers, volunteers, and agriculture’s stakeholders, New York Agriculture in the Classroom fosters an awareness, understanding, and appreciation of our food and fiber system.

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