New York Agricultural Educator Wins National Teacher of the Year Award
January 13, 2014
ALEXANDRIA, VA—The Association for Career and Technical Education announces Tara Berescik of Grahamsville, New York, as the winner of the 2014 ACTE Teacher of the Year award, sponsored by Cisco. Berescik is an agricultural educator with Tri-Valley Central School District. As the Region I winner of ACTE's Teacher of the Year award, Berescik was one of five finalists competing for the national title of 2014 Teacher of the Year, which recognizes educators who have made significant contributions toward innovative, unique and novel programs that are serving to improve and promote career and technical education. Berescik was announced as the national winner during the ACTE Awards Banquet on Wednesday, Dec. 4 at ACTE's CareerTech VISION 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
As an agricultural educator and FFA adviser at Tri-Valley School District for the past 13 years, Tara Berescik remains a source of inspiration and support for her students, even after they have left her classroom. As a teacher known for her ability to connect with her students and aptitude for maximizing potential in others, Berescik is frequently called upon by former students for her advice concerning challenging college and career decisions. One of Berescik's eight former students who has gone on to pursue a career as an agricultural education instructor said, "Tara dedicates her life to her students and does whatever it takes to ensure their success. For Tara, her dedication to her students lasts around the clock, every day."
In addition to advising her award-winning FFA team after hours, Berescik teaches eight classes a day on a variety of topics in which she integrates hands-on experience and crosswalks into math, science and English.
Berescik's hands-on teaching style has provided her students with a variety of truly remarkable experiences. For example, students in her floral sciences classes conduct experiments on home-grown flowers and learn how to run their own floral business, which has completed floral arrangements for 48 weddings. In addition, students collaborate with the NYC Reservoir System to learn about water quality control in environmental science and study animal physiology through hands-on manipulation of non-living specimen parts in the Cornell curriculum-based course. Berescik has even taken the classroom outside the country, arranging field trips to Ireland, Australia and Costa Rica to learn about international agriculture topics, from the science of growing coffee to the genetic differences in horses.
The ACTE Awards Banquet was sponsored by Cisco, Kuder Inc., Stratasys, CEV Multimedia Ltd. Certiport, Successful Practices Network, and Yaskawa Motoman Robotics.
The Association for Career and Technical Education is the nation's largest not-for-profit education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. Founded in 1926, ACTE has more than 25,000 members; career and technical educators, administrators, researchers, guidance counselors and others involved in planning and conducting career and technical education programs at the secondary, postsecondary and adult levels. ACTE provides advocacy, public awareness and access to information on career and technical education, professional development and tools that enable members to be successful and effective leaders.
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