Skoglund named 2012-13 Ag in the Classroom Teacher of the Year

Farm Forum

PIERRE – Mary Rae Skoglund, a kindergarten teacher at McCook Central Elementary in Salem, South Dakota, has been named the 2012-2013 Teacher of the Year by South Dakota Ag in the Classroom.

Skoglund was nominated by her colleagues and was unaware she was nominated for the award, which was presented as a surprise to her at an all-school assembly.

Skoglund has been the kindergarten teacher at McCook Central for nine years. Prior to that, she was a fifth-grade teacher as well as a para-educator.

Skoglund incorporates South Dakota’s No. 1 industry – agriculture – into her classroom in a variety of ways, including use of farm chores as a way to tell time; using animals to learn addition and subtraction; teaching responsibility by caring for animals that the children raise, including the birthing and hatching processes, as they hatch more than 80 chickens, ducks, and geese each year; writing thank you letters to farmers during National Ag Week; field trips to local ag businesses and partnering with the local FFA chapter members and instructor.

“Reading through her application, it was evident Mary Rae is respected by her students, colleagues and student’s parents,” said Ann Price, South Dakota Ag in the Classroom Executive Director. “Ag-based lessons have an important impact on the students. Every one of them mentioned her passion for agriculture, which is obvious from the wide variety of lessons she uses.”

Ag in the Classroom is a nationwide effort to incorporate information about agriculture into elementary and secondary schools. South Dakota Ag in the Classroom focuses on teacher training, providing teachers with materials and workshops that enable them to integrate South Dakota’s No. 1 industry into their classrooms.