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Agriculture is for everyone | Teachers' Lounge Podcast

Sycamore School District

On a new Teachers’ Lounge podcast, we’re talking with Sycamore High School agriculture teacher and FFA advisor -- Kara Poynter!

She’s about as busy of a teacher as you can be -- between teaching speech, a Farm-to-Fork food class, traveling all around the country with her students for FFA competitions and conferences -- and then she goes home to her husband, two kids, and 100 sheep.

And her agriculture program just keeps growing!

“We just got done looking at classes for next year and we'll have 444 kids taking ag classes. That's like a third of the school. We have 19 different classes we can teach. I go from cooking and farm to fork to speech to Ag to science to welding,” she said.

It’s a lot, but we talk about how she stays motivated, connecting her students with the community, how agriculture education is evolving and focusing on issues like sustainability, and so much more.

“Ag is always changing; everything around you is changing; how we're getting our food is changing,” said Poynter. “I think that's what I love so much about it is that it’s so diverse, and it is for everyone.”

If you’ve never listened to Teachers’ Lounge before, our show is based on an idea -- we’ve all had teachers in our lives who shaped who we are. And we want to hear about the teachers who inspired you or deserve a spotlight in your community. Every educator we have on this podcast, whether teacher, coach, counselor or professor, is nominated by our listeners.

So, tell us about the person who comes to your mind. Shoot us an email and nominate an educator at teacherslounge@niu.edu and they could be on the podcast! And please subscribe to our Teachers' Lounge newsletter right here where you can stay up to speed on the show and share stories you think we should cover!

Also, Teachers’ Lounge is on the radio! Catch the show as an hour-long radio program, every month LIVE on 89-5 FM and streaming at WNIJ.org. We have multiple guests, stories, and exclusive segments. Tune in on the last Friday of the month at noon for future episodes. Our next episode airs on Friday, May 31st at noon and the next day, June 1st at 6 a.m.

Teachers' Lounge Podcast
Peter Medlin
Teachers' Lounge Podcast


Educator in this episode:

Kara Poynter

Stories in this episode:

Illinois is now home to a federally-recognized tribal nation

From high school to headlines: Freeport students help launch local news podcast

Music: Our show's theme music is from the northern Illinois-based band "Kindoves" and their songs "Popn," "Origins" and "Quiche." You can find more of their music on their Soundcloud page. You can also listen to the episode of WNIJ's Sessions from Studio A where they were featured.

Teachers! People who know teachers! People with stories about teachers! Send us an email and be part of the show! Also, send us your topic recommendations: teacherslounge@niu.edu

Peter joins WNIJ as a graduate of North Central College. He is a native of Sandwich, Illinois.