2014 ACTE Teacher of the Year

Tara L. Berescik

Agricultural Educator and FFA Advisor
Tri-Valley Central School District
Grahamsville, New York

ACTE sat down with Tara after the ACTE Awards Banquet during CareerTech VISION.

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.

Are you the best in CTE Do you know someone who is To learn more about the ACTE Excellence Awards and how to apply, visit our awards homepage


As Cisco’s largest corporate social responsibility program, Networking Academy partners with public and private education organizations to provide curricula that develops ICT knowledge and skills. Students prepare for industry-recognized certifications, higher education and careers, while developing 21st century skills. Courses are available at high schools, community colleges and universities. Coursework is comprehensive, free to nonprofit schools, and supports national education standards such as STEM and the Common Core Standards. Instructors have access to 24/7 tech support, instructional tools, and an online community of peers.For more
information, visit www.cisco.com/go/netacad/us.