The Daily Dirt

Athens-Clarke County School Garden Champions Recognized



CONTACT: Kelsey Thompson




[ATHENS, GEORGIA, March 21] The Athens School Garden Network is celebrating local schools, staff, teachers, and community members for their contributions to farm-to-school and garden-based learning in Athens-Clarke County.

The School Garden Champions award ceremony was held at the Athens Community Career Academy on Wednesday, March 21 at 4:30 p.m.

Farm-to-school programs engage K-12 students across the curriculum in hands-on, food and garden-based learning. The Clarke County School District (CCSD) has received statewide and national recognition for its farm-to-school programs, which have positively impacted our students and district as a whole. In 2017, CCSD received the state’s new Platinum-level Golden Radish Award. It was named the state’s “Outstanding District” for farm-to-school in 2015.

The ACC School Garden Champions Awards is a local award ceremony to celebrate those who make farm-to-school and garden-based learning a success in Athens-Clarke County. This is the first time these awards are being given. All nominees and award recipients have gone above and beyond to make garden-based learning a success at the school level.

The following awards are being given:

  • Outstanding Student: Takais Jackson, Clarke Middle School
  • Outstanding Elementary School Teacher: Phillip Smith, JJ Harris Elementary
  • Outstanding Middle School Teacher: Debbie Mitchell, Clarke Middle School
  • Outstanding High School Teacher: Jillian Gordon, Clarke Central High School
  • Outstanding School: Clarke Middle School, Tad MacMillan, Principal
  • Outstanding Administrator: Amy Peacock, CCSD K-8 Science Curriculum Coordinator
  • Outstanding School Nutrition Partner: Anthony Holland, Holland Produce
  • Outstanding Facilities Partner: John Cleghorne, CCSD Exec Director, Plant Services
  • Outstanding Culinary Partner: Manny Stone, Athens Community Career Academy
  • Outstanding Garden Champion Partner: Jacob Kennedy on behalf of Hort2000
  • Outstanding Farm Partner: Johannah Biang, UGArden
  • Outstanding Business Partner: Taziki’s
  • Outstanding Master Gardener or Extension Partner: Sarah Lockman
  • Outstanding Parent Volunteer: Lili Hill, Whit Davis Elementary
  • Food Justice Warrior: Connie Roberts, Athens Land Trust

Funding for this award comes from a Georgia Organics Farm-to-School “Nudge” Grant.

The Athens School Garden Network includes Athens Land Trust, Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful, Athens-Clarke County Extension, and Grow It Know It in partnership with Clarke County School District, UGA Public Service and Outreach, and UGA Extension


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