Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom (IAITC) recently honored, Ms. Carole Scannell, a 32-year veteran by naming her Teacher of the Year. The 4th Grade teacher at St. Germaine School in Oak Lawn will receive a plaque and a trip to the 2016 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Litchfield Park, Ariz. She also will represent Illinois in the National Excellence in Teaching Agriculture Award competition. 

Carole has been a strong advocate for agriculture in Cook County where she regularly attends AITC workshops held at the Cook County Farm Bureau, as well as Summer Ag Institutes that are offered each summer.  She returns from these programs and quickly incorporates the new ideas into her lessons. Her enthusiasm for agriculture spills over to fellow teachers. “When I visited her school, her principal said, ‘I don’t know how she (Scannell) got involved in all this farming stuff, but she’s got all the teachers excited,’” stated Diane Merrion, Literacy Coordinator.  Fourth graders in Carole Scannell’s class find agriculture in their math, science, English and language arts lessons at St. Germaine Catholic School in Oak Lawn. Scannell has worked to educate her students on understanding what the source of their food and fiber really is.  She succeeds in incorporating agricultural knowledge into her daily lesson plans.  Not only does she teach agriculture as part of her schools year, but Carole has also volunteered every summer to be a Group Leader for our Passport to the Farm Camp.  

Ms. Scannell also helps her students expand their knowledge of farming through the Adopt a Classroom program. Fulton County Farm Bureau has worked with Scannell for about five years, according to Elaine Stone, the county Farm Bureau manager. “She’s the most enthusiastic, willing teacher to work with us,” Stone said. For the last four years, the county Farm Bureau has chartered a bus to transport Scannell, her students and their parents to the west-central county for a farm tour. The students and Farm Bureau board members also exchange letters during the school year. 

Congratulations may be addressed to:

Carole Scannell
St. Germaine Catholic School
9735 S. Kolin Ave
Oak Lawn, IL 60453
For more information about the Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom Program and the Teacher of the Year Award, contact Kevin Daugherty at 309-557-3334, or

AITC Presenter Linda Dunn, Teacher of the Year Carole Scannell, AITC Coordinator Diane Merrion and IL AITC Director Kevin Daugherty surprised Ms. Carole Scannell in her classroom with the award presentation.