Wyoming teacher presented $2,500 Educator of the Year award
Cooley was recognized at the 2022 Wyoming Agriculture Hall Of Fame Picnic on August 17, 2022, by Senator John Barrasso, Governor Mark Gordon, and First Lady Jennie Gordon, where she was awarded a $2500 check, graciously sponsored by the Wyoming Livestock Roundup, Mantha Phillips, and Vermillion Ranches.
The Educator of the Year program recognizes an outstanding Wyoming educator who demonstrates excellence in education by implementing innovative agriculture and natural resource projects into their classroom and the surrounding community.
Ms. Cooley has inspired the movement to introduce Wyoming Agriculture in the Classroom curriculum and her entire grade-level team
has used the Wyoming Stewardship Project units extensively.
The Wyoming Stewardship Project is aligned to the Wyoming Content & Performance Standards, focusing on science and social studies. The project focuses on 2nd-5th grade and has three units for each grade level: Agriculture, Minerals & Energy, and Outdoor Recreation & Tourism.
The Wyoming Stewardship Project only comes alive for students when a teacher tells the story and connects that story to the community.
Ms. Cooley has also been the driving force in creating a new school garden and partners with local services like the Washakie County Extension Office, the community garden, and other businesses in the area. The garden has provided many hands-on experiences for students, and the food produced in the garden was donated to over one hundred families.
Ms. Cooley will be nominated for the National Agriculture in the Classroom Excellence in Teaching Award as the Wyoming representative.
Each year the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the National Agriculture in the Classroom Consortium recognizes exceptional teachers by presenting them with the Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award. This competitive program recognizes state-selected "Teacher of the Year" recipients for their successful efforts in teaching agricultural concepts in their curriculum.