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DuPont Announces Winner of AgriSCIENCE Award for Teaching Excellence

Wilmington, Del., – Today, DuPont announced that Jessica M. Jones, agriscience teacher at Chatham Middle School in Chatham, Va., has been selected to receive the George Washington Carver AgriSCIENCE Teacher’s Award in recognition of teaching excellence. The award recognizes the top-ranking member of the DuPont National AgriScience Teacher Ambassador Academy (NATAA) who demonstrates and advocates inquiry-based science teaching and inspires students to pursue science excellence. Jones will receive the award at the National Science Teachers Association’s (NSTA) national conference, March 12-15 in Chicago, Ill.  

“DuPont is pleased to honor Ms. Jones for her commitment and passion to use science to inspire and educate today’s youth and lead them on a lifelong path of learning,” said Rik L. Miller, president of DuPont Crop Protection. “We rely on Ms. Jones and other excellent teachers to provide children with the skills they will need to solve the global challenges of the 21st century.”

The award honors George Washington Carver (1864-1943), an agricultural scientist, researcher and inventor who was also a valued teacher, friend and mentor of Henry A. Wallace, the founder of DuPont Pioneer, as well as a U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and the 33rd Vice President of the United States.

Jones, an honors graduate of Virginia Tech, holds a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Horticulture and Leadership & Social Change, and a B.S. in Education with an emphasis in Agricultural Education. She also holds a master’s degree in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Administration and Supervision and is currently working on her doctorate in Leadership Studies at Lynchburg College in Virginia.

“My teaching philosophy is to be challenging and relevant through what I call ‘flearning’ – fun and engaged learning,” said Jones. “I incorporate science inquiry as a way to reach learning goals and objectives. Students investigate various components, find a direct result and apply findings making the inquiry real. I look at problem solving through the student’s vantage and hopefully instill passion as well as the education needed to carry these skills beyond the classroom in order to be universal, productive citizens of our global community.”

Jones joined Chatham Middle School in 2007 where she teaches agriscience, and is a 2010 graduate of NATAA. Chatham is a middle school of approximately 450 students with diverse backgrounds located in a primarily rural area. She mentors more than 500 students each year in Future Farmers of America (FFA) activities as advisor with the Chatham Middle FFA Chapter. In addition, she has received a number of recognitions for teaching excellence including the 2015 Virginia Association for Career & Technical Education Teacher of the Year, and is first runner-up for the 2015 National American Farm Bureau Federation Excellence in Agriculture Award in which candidates must win first place at their own state level to qualify. Jones is also the first recipient of the Dr. Glenn Anderson Award established in his honor and for his dedication to advancing the professional development of agriscience teachers, as presented by the Virginia Association of Agricultural Educators.

As the 2015 George Washington Carver AgriSCIENCE award winner, Jones will receive a $2,500 personal award and Chatham’s agriscience department will receive a $2,500 grant for classroom resources and equipment. In addition, she receives expense-paid trips to NSTA and the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) 2015 national conferences held in Chicago, Ill., and New Orleans, La., respectively.

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