DEPERE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - She's the longest tenured ag instructor in the state, and the second teacher in Wisconsin to complete stringent requirements to earn her National Board Certification of Professional Teaching Standards.
In this segment of Wisconsin Dairy News meet Clara Hedrich who's taking ag education to another level.
In her early morning vet science class, there's not a single student who's not paying attention to the dynamic woman who's leading their instruction.
It's because they know they're going to get hands-on learning with real farm animals.
Grace Skarlupka, a student at West DePere High School says, "You just don't have to be on a farm to have agriculture, you can be someplace else and be involved in agriculture but not be on the farm and kids don't understand that until they've been in her classroom."
Students in Clara Hedrich's class are being empowered to learn.
Grace: "I like working with my hands and getting dirty, and it's just interesting. Because also in high school is the first chance we have to take agriculture and my parents both came from farms, so I just never got to take a class on it until high school."
It's a philosophy that Hedrich has used throughout her 37-year career.
Clara Hedrich, an Ag Teacher at West DePere High says, "To me it's kind of like the hub of education and what I find exciting is if you can get them interested in something, you know like they're really, WOW, this is kind of cool stuff, now we can teach them."
And if it were up to Hedrich, learning about agriculture and the science behind it would be a part of every student's high school curriculum.
Clara: "I think it should be mandated by the state that, just like we have to take a science class, we have to have so many…maybe that fourth science class that they're pushing is an agricultural class."
Maybe one day that dream will come true!
And that's Wisconsin Dairy News.
Although she's been in the classroom for 37 years, Hedrich says she has no plans to retire yet. Hedrich also co-owns a commercial dairy goat operation with her family and says that if and when she retires from teaching, that will be her second career.
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