Winfield teacher named 2021 Janet Sims Memorial Teacher of the Year

Kacie Lockyear, a kindergarten teacher at Country View Elementary in Winfield, was recently named the 2021 Janet Sims Memorial Teacher of the Year by Kansas Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom. KFAC’s Janet Sims Memorial Teacher of the Year award recognizes teachers who instill passion for learning about agriculture within their students. KFAC honors one teacher annually who has successfully integrated agricultural education into his or her pre-existing curriculum.

Lockyear is in her ninth year of teaching where she devotes classroom time to learning life skills and assists other teachers in doing the same. At the kindergarten level, most learning is through speaking and listening. Lockyear’s students had the opportunity to learn from listening to guest speakers from the agricultural community and participating in hands-on activities.Each class had different responsibilities such as feeding the bucket calf, collecting eggs from the chickens, or tending the crops.

The expectation for the 5th grade class was to sell eggs and engage in a small business experience.

“The goal was to provide agricultural experiences and activities for our students that crossed curricular lines and encompassed all age groups,” Lockyear says. “The ultimate goal, that was realized this year, was to have animals living and crops growing on our school grounds."

Students at Country View Elementary had the opportunity to learn life lessons, some exciting and some more difficult. They were able to learn about grief and the great support provided by the national agricultural community. The community has also been very generous in providing Country View with resources to make this project possible. Many professionals offered their time to teach students, make videos and offer their insight to this new program. Lockyear will be recognized during the 2020 KFAC Annual Meeting to be held in Manhattan and will receive an all-expense paid trip to the 2021 National Agriculture in the Classroom conference to be held in Des Moines, Iowa. Lockyear will also be considered for the 2021 National Excellence in Teaching About Agriculture Award, presented by National Agriculture in the Classroom.