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Pennsylvania Teacher Recognized for Teaching Excellence

Posted: March 28, 2012

Michael Clark, agriscience teacher in the Greenwood school district, Millerstown, PA, received the George Washington Carver AgriSCIENCE Teacher’s Award in recognition of his teaching excellence. The award was presented during the DuPont dinner at the National Science Teachers Association’s (NSTA) national conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.

We are very proud to have Mr. Michael Clark, a PSU, CAS, AEE Alumnus twice over with a Bachelors of Science (2001) and a Masters of Science (2004), selected as the recipient of the George Washington Carver AgriSCIENCE Teacher of the Year Award. 

This award recognizes the AgriSCIENCE Ambassador that advocates inquiry-based science teaching among all educators and inspires students to pursue science excellence.  Michael will receive a $2500 monetary gift and expenses paid trips to NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) and NAAE (National Association of Agricultural Educator) annual conferences.  There will also be a $2500 grant to Greenwood Middle High School presented in his honor.  Mike will receive his award at the DuPont (Welcome to NSTA) Dinner on March 29, 2012 in Indianapolis.

“Sustainable agriculture is only possible if we give today’s students the necessary scientific and technical knowledge to accomplish the goal. We need teachers that are grounded in the best methods for teaching to prepare the next generation to help solve the challenges of our changing world,” said James C. Borel, DuPont executive vice president, in presenting the award to Clark.  “Agriscience is part of STEM* education and Michael is the embodiment of the training required and the enthusiasm necessary to help students flourish in agriscience.”

Clark, a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agriculture and extension education, served the university as president of the Student Government Senate and a lion ambassador.  For the past nine years, Clark has incorporated scientific and technical content in his agriculture curriculum to increase academic rigor, resulting in an unprecedented increase in student enrollment.  For his efforts, Clark was named Pennsylvania’s Outstanding Agriculture Teacher in 2010 and Pennsylvania’s Outstanding Agriscience Teacher in 2008.  He also was a finalist for the National Agriscience Teacher of the Year in 2008.

“I continually remind myself that my students do not care how much I know until they know how much I care,” said Clark.  “While I am honored to receive this award, I want to use this recognition as a reminder to focus on my students to show just how much I care about their accomplishments and their progress.”

Clark is a published author and workshop presenter in the DuPont inquiry-based classroom at NSTA, National Association of Agriculture Educators (NAAE) and the National FFA annual conferences.  Clark represented Pennsylvania at Pioneer Hi-Bred's National Agriscience Integration Institute.  As adjunct teacher for Delaware Valley College, Clark developed an inquiry-focused crop science course.  He also developed and facilitated inquiry-based instruction workshops for Penn State agriculture student teachers.

In recognition of his accomplishments, Clark receives a $2,500 monetary gift, a $2,500 grant for the Greenwood Middle/High School Agriculture Department, and expenses-paid trips to the 2012 NSTA National Conference and the NAAE annual conference.

The Carver Award recognizes the member of the DuPont National AgriScience Teacher Ambassador Academy (NATAA) who demonstrates and advocates inquiry-based science teaching and inspires students to pursue science excellence.  DuPont has sponsored the Academy for 10 years.  There are currently 181 Ambassadors from 49 states and Puerto Rico.

The award also honors George Washington Carver (1864 -1943), agricultural scientist, researcher, inventor and teacher.  Carver also was a friend and mentor of Henry A. Wallace, founder of Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business.  DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit http://www.dupont.com.

*STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education.