Katie Buckley, secondary special education teacher and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Educator across the district at LeRoy CUSD #2, was named 2020 Illinois Ag in the Classroom Teacher of the Year for her outstanding efforts in incorporating agriculture into her classroom.
Agriculture themed lessons generate opportunities for problem solving and project-based
learning in Buckley’s classroom. Students have the opportunity to engage with real world
problems like soil conservation, resource allocation and sustainability.
Buckley’s students have twice won the Purple Plow Challenge, a nationwide ag-related STEM competition. As a result, the classroom gained two 3D printers and $200 in giftcards.
Using a variety of grant funds, Buckley has also purchased drones, robotic components, tablets and more to enable students to explore the uses of technology in agriculture.
Buckley is also an alum of the American Farm Bureau STEM on the Farm program, a
professional development opportunity that offers educators the chance to learn firsthand about the science and technology of beef production.
Buckley was recognized at the 2019 Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Chicago and
will receive a trip to the 2020 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. She will also be the Illinois nominee for the USDA National Excellence in Teaching Agriculture Award. You can follow Buckley and her students on Twitter (@LeRoySTEM).