Everyone needs a champion STILL

I have had a few champions in my life. A few I still have, a few I don’t. I continue to look for people that lift up others. I was invited by PJ Simon this week to attend National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy sponsored by DuPont. I was invited not as one of the 30 ambassadors but an observer because I do not teach Ag. I arrived yesterday in Wilmington, DE at 6:45 am to meet up with the 30 Ag teachers from across the country. We toured the Stine-Haskell Research Laboratories to see how one of the products manufactures goes from start (research) to finish (market) and the Hagley Museum (the home and historical site of E.I. DuPont) in the morning and presentations by DuPont employees in the afternoon highlighting products. The evening started off with a mean game of lawn bowling ( my partner John and I won!) and dinner at DuPont’s County Club.


Inside the workshop at Hadley Museum where gun powder was made.


Along the Brandywine with the water turbine.


Powder yard


Water to turn the turbines


Home of DuPont


The view of the back of the home.


The real GREEN roof at Chestnut Run that helps this facility become a LEED Gold certified workplace.


Getting ready to socialize at DuPont’s Country Club.


The country club at DuPont


Mingling with DuPont employees, or as I like to put it, picking out my winning partner for lawn bowling.


BBQ, DuPont Style



Walking to breakfast on the farm.


View from the farm, also known as doing work.


This is hard working on labs with this view.

This morning has been spent working as students on labs testing food safety and food security. However these workshops are at Chesapeake Farms, Chestertown, MD. The farm is owned by DuPont.




Becoming leading teachers in our field


The farm


Where farmhouse food is made and served


The most spectacular sunset ever. On the farm, are things really that much better?


Last dinner on the estuary.




Sunset at dinner, this picture really doesn’t do it justice.


The remains of dinner.


The perfect view, the perfect end to the perfect week of professional development.

DuPont values education and is committed to being a champion for teachers. I have been lucky enough to find one of my champions in PJ Simon. She not only is a big proponent of Ag teachers but of science teachers in general. She has allowed me to have some great professional experiences the past 3 months. I can’t thank her enough. But I know the way I can repay her! Teach my students well. And I will.

PS: I wrote this prior to hearing the Ag teachers speak at the closing awards part. The biggest take away for me, and I knew this going into this week, is to continue to surround yourself with positive people and engage each summer with a rewarding experience that brings you back in to focus of the WHY of your career. Almost every teacher spoke of how this week changed their lives and a few mention how they were close to quitting their jobs this year. We have to stick together to self-promote and remind each other of the reason we do what we do: the kids. We tend to lose focus for various reasons. Every teacher needs an experience like this. I had mine a few years ago when I flew in zero-g at NASA with PPPL. I found my WHY and embraced it. Every child needs a teacher that finds his/her WHY.


About Hillyer

I'm a passionate 7th grade science teacher looking to inspire others.
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