Global Impact STEM educator named teacher leader of the year

A teacher in a Springfield school was named GrowNextGen’s Teacher Leader of the Year.

Shelby Guthrie, a food science and agriculture teacher at Global Impact STEM Academy, said she is honored and blessed to “have the opportunity to represent a field of work I love so much.”

“The best way to describe this moment is that I feel seen. My hope and goal is that my students feel seen in my classroom on a daily basis. I want them to know that I see who you are, and I want to help you get where you are going,” she said.

GrowNetGen is an educational platform for educators, industry leaders and professionals to gain more knowledge about the agricultural field through experiences developed by a variety of experts in their field.

Guthrie added she has felt many feelings, such as gratitude, grace, recognition, and appreciation, related to getting this award.

“This award means that you are making a difference. I know my name is on the award, but everyone who has helped me get here also deserves recognition for letting me pursue my passions of education, agriculture, science and most importantly, the passion of helping students find their path,” she said.

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This award program highlights teachers who have demonstrated leadership among their fellow teachers by training and providing support; added value to GrowNextGen with curriculum and ideas; promoted the GrowNextGen program in their classroom, online and with other colleagues; and completed the leadership program with GrowNextGen, according to the Ohio Department of Education.

“This award honestly belongs to my students I have served over the past four years. It also belongs to my support system, my husband, my family and friends, but especially my family I work with. They build the community up, improving on standards, strategies, and practices for the love and passion of agriculture and science,” Guthrie said.

Founding Director Joshua Jennings said GISA is proud of Guthrie, as well as other staff who received this award in the past.

“This award demonstrates Ms. Guthrie’s contributions to the industry and helping other instructors make the connections between their specific content and agriculture,” he said.

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GISA has been a partner with GrowNextGen and the Ohio Soybean Council since its inception in 2013, Jennings said.

GrowNextGen was launched in 2014 with funds from the Ohio Soybean Council and Ohio soybean farmers, according to the website. The funds, known as the soybean checkoff, are invested in areas that will help expand markets, drive innovation and build understanding to ensure the future success of the soybean industry.

The organization provides teachers with free STEM lessons that bring agriculture principles and practices into the science classroom, with a primary focus on biology, chemistry, food science and environmental science standards, the website stated. It includes e-learning courses and a network of educators and industry leaders to answer questions and provide resources.

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