MAITC Teacher of the Year 2015
Duplissie Named 2015 Maine Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year
Kevin Duplissie, Director and Head Teacher of the Child Study Center at the University of Maine, has been named the 2015 Maine Agriculture in the Classroom (MAITC) Teacher of the Year. Duplissie has been working at the university for 27 years and teaching at the Child Study Center for 12 years. The center provides preschool education to children of UMaine employees, students and the general public. It offers a curriculum focused on agriculture, art, language and self-help. The center also serves as a lab school for the Psychology Department and other academic programs.
Duplissie, who has been using MAITC curriculum since 2008, integrates agriculture projects into every subject and conducts several agriculture related activities with the college students and preschool children each week. "I'm from northern Maine," Duplissie says. "I grew up surrounded by agriculture so it's second nature to me. A lot of preschool and college students don't understand the importance of agriculture in our lives."
With Duplissie's guidance, preschool children build greenhouses, plant gardens, visit farms and hatch chicks every year at the center. Teaching children where their food comes from is an important focus of the curriculum. "We make snack with the children, and they know where it comes from." he says, adding that the students grew pumpkins and made cookies and muffins with them this fall. "We relate it all back to agriculture and the farms that grow their food. Good nutrition is easy to relate back to agriculture. Everything we eat comes from farms."
In June of 2015 Kevin will be provided with an all-expense paid trip to Louisville, KY to attend the National Ag in the Classroom conference for 7 days. There he will meet other teachers from all 50 states and abroad that are using agriculture to teach their students.