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Windsor students now offered unique jump-start into agriculture

Tina Miner-James isn’t your every day teacher, then again, this isn’t your every day classroom within Windsor High School. As students prepare to grow fresh herbs in the small containers in her classroom, they’re getting a jumpstart on a potential future in the agriculture industry, one of the leading employers in the state. 

For Miner-James, it’s all about thinking differently when it comes to education.

What You Need To Know

  • Windsor students may now earn a Technical Endorsement in Agriculture on their diploma, thanks to the a recent recognition by the state’s education department
  • Windsor is one of the only schools in the state to earn the certification
  • Windsor also offers an aquaponics lab, a land lab, a barnyard, a welding lab, and now the ability to keep students in-house to gain this certification

“These kids get enough inside the classroom, but to be able to take those academics, apply them to something they can actually do with their hands is awesome opportunity,” said Tina Miner-James, Windsor High School CT Agriculture teacher.

Garrison Calta is one of many students in the program who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty, and while caring for chickens and roosters isn’t your typical high school class, he’s thrilled to be a part of it.

“I’ve always loved being outside, working with animals, plants, and it’s all very interesting,” said Calta, who serves as president of Windsor’s chapter of Future Farmers of America.

Miner-James has been teaching agriculture courses for 28 years, and as she shows off a hydroponic plant lab, she says she knows these students have a unique opportunity ahead of them.

Windsor students may now earn a Technical Endorsement in Agriculture on their diploma, thanks to the a recent recognition by the state’s education department. This puts them in line for a variety of jobs immediately after graduating.

“We’re recognized by industries in our area as having rigorous and relevant academics, hands-on approach to the education, and these kids are getting the skills needed to go directly into the workforce,” said Miner-James.

For students in this classroom, an open-door policy allows Miner-James to connect with her class, while preparing them for their futures.

“Even if it’s just sitting, brushing the dog, taking him for a walk and giving yourself an opportunity to get a breath of fresh air and reset, it’s a blessing because I can do that,” said Miner-James.

Windsor also offers an aquaponics lab, a land lab, a barnyard, a welding lab, and now the ability to keep students in-house to gain this certification.

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