Though the weather outside may be less than favorable, things are ‘blooming’ in the ag department at JVHS. Rachel Bloom is currently student teaching in Raylene Russell’s Natural Resource class and Introduction to Agriculture class. Bloom started teaching at JVHS Jan. 7 and will be leaving April 19.
Bloom grew up in Clearfield with a loving family. She spent all 12 years of her early childhood education at Clearfield Area School District. She graduated high school in 2014, and then furthered her education at Penn State Dubois. There, she received her associates degree in Wildlife Technology.
Soon after Bloom got her associates degree, she wanted to do something bigger. She then decided to go to Pennsylvania State University to get a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education. “I have always been interested in the outdoors, I practically grew up in it. I am overly excited to be pursuing my dream,” said Bloom. She is now on her last semester at Penn State Main Campus and will graduate in May.
“Right now in my natural resource class we are making ecosystem bottles. I gathered some empty 2-liter soda bottles, soil, deionized water, aquarium rocks, a Cynoglossum Amabile (also known as a chinese forget-me-not plant), organic matter and aquatic fish,” explained Bloom. “The class then assembled everything and created a mini ecosystem of their own.” By doing this, the class will get to see first-hand how an ecosystem works.
“I loved making the ecosystem bottles. There was only one complication when my partner and I created ours,” explained senior Jayton Green-Heverly. “Ecosystems can be very delicate and one little thing can throw them off; like when I added too much water to the soil, it ran to the bottom of the container which made it dirty water. My fish didn’t do so well and they both died the next day. One little mistake can throw the whole system off.”
Throughout the year, Bloom with be teaching the group of juniors and seniors in the Natural Resource class information on ecology, dendrology, silviculture, animal identification and wildlife education. “I really like what we are doing now and I can’t wait to learn more throughout the course of the year,” stated junior Seth Everhart. Junior Nate Geissinger added: “She is so nice and she teaches very well.”
Bloom also teaches the eighth graders in the Introduction to Agriculture. In the course, the students will learn things about Future Farmers of America (FFA), Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE), farming, shop classes, natural resources and food sciences.
“I am very excited that Rachel Bloom picked our school to teach at,” stated Russell. The students in the class, and adviser teacher, feel that she will have a very bright future.