Former Teacher Honored for 20 Years of 'Ag in the Classroom'
Former Sherrard teacher, Ramona McMeekan, was recently honored for 20 years of volunteer service with “Ag in the Classroom”, an initiative to teach children about agriculture through the Mercer County Farm Bureau.
Connie Lord, Ag in the Classroom volunteer, surprised McMeekan with a plaque at Sherrard Elementary where McMeekan formerly taught. She also taught at Coyne Center and served in the Sherrard School District for 40 years.
McMeekan thought she would be attending the ‘Ag in the Classroom’ taught by volunteer, Tracy Wyant (Principal Casey Wyant’s mom), just for fun, to observe and enjoy the second graders learning about horses - when Principal Wyant introduced her to students and Lord stepped up to talk about McMeekan’s accomplishments.
Her husband, sister, daughter, granddaughter and great granddaughter (second grader, Evelyn Hebel) were all in attendance to witness the special moment.
Sherrard Elementary Principal, Casey Wyant said, “20 years is a long time to commit to anything. Ramona has committed over 60 years of her life to sharing her appreciation for education, nature, and everything they have to offer with our future generations.
Her contributions to the education of our youth in the Sherrard School District is immeasurable and the impact will surely be felt for generations to come as these students pass that love onto others.”
Ag in the Classroom started with the USDA in 1981.
ACE Camp has been held yearly in May since 1996, started with a $500 grant from Pioneer.
Ramona started helping with Ag in the Classroom in 2003, following her retirement from the Sherrard School District. She taught school at Coyne Center and Winola Elementary Schools for a total of 40 years.
In addition to presenting the lessons in 2nd grade classrooms at Sherrard and Winola, Ramona participated in committee meetings at the county level, prepared lesson plans, gathered and purchased materials for the lessons and the themed snacks, organized and scheduled volunteers to help in the classrooms, and assisted with planning and hosting ACE Camp.
To coordinate the monthly themes, she helped the students make snacks - usually in a ziplock bag – including ice cream, pumpkin pie, fudge, tootsie rolls, and horse-feed snack mix.
When it became harder for her to teach the lessons (due to her hearing and health), she volunteered in the classroom while others taught, prepared the materials for the snacks and activities, and helped with organizational tasks.
Cala Smoldt, Director of Public Relations