Jessica Naugle McAtamney, Champion of Change

This article originally ran in the November 2012 Cedar Park Neighbors newsletter.  Want to receive the newsletter delivered to your doorstep (or directly to your email inbox)?  Join CPN today at  Information accessed from the White House Champion of Change website

Our very own Cedar Park neighbor, Jessica McAtamney, was recently honored by the The White House, as a Champion of Change.  The honor was given to Jessica and eleven other members of Future Farmers of America (FFA) and 4-H for creating sustainable change in their communities.  Jessica Naugle Mcatamney is an agricultural educator at W.B. Saul High School of Agricultural Sciences in Philadelphia, PA. Jessica teaches Advanced Placement Environmental Science, AgroEcology, and Urban Gardening.  Jessica serves as FFA advisor to one the nation’s largest FFA chapters in which Philadelphia boasts fourteen agricultural educators who work in horticulture, animal science, natural resource management, food science and agricultural production.

Jessica helped found, coordinate, and facilitate the Henry Got Crops! Community Supported Agricultural Partnership between Saul High School, Weavers Way Cooperative, and Fairmount Park.  In writing about this project, she notes that “this fantastic CSA allows students to have a true hands on working perspective of agricultural vegetable production, compost production, and currently, a native berry/fruit tree nursery. Henry Got Crops! serves as an example of true community partnership that supports students, their learning and their own personal growth. Appropriately named by an AgroEcology student for Saul’s location on Henry Avenue, Henry Got Crops! demonstrates the challenges and successes of farming without chemicals and enables students to see the value in sustainable crop production.”

In addition to her teaching responsibilities Jessica coordinates programming for Outward Bound, the World Food Prize, Students Run Philly Style Marathon and the University of Pennsylvania’s Engineers without Borders.  She is involved in the Scientists as Teachers – Teachers as Scientists program.  She is very proud of her efforts in facilitating a comprehensive recycling effort at the high school significantly diminishing the amount of school waste entering landfills from school waste.

In commenting on her selection as a Champion of Change, Jessica writes, “I hope that I am able to empower my students in such a manner and to create more agents of change within Philadelphia communities.

We are pleased to celebrate our neighbors’ much deserved recognition for her commitment and accomplishments as an educator, AgroEcologist, mentor and community leader.