And Now Without Further Ado: The Game-Changing Agriscience Academy at Shepaug


The Agriscience Academy at The Shepaug Valley School is absolutely thriving. With animals and state-of-the-art equipment already in the barn and in the classroom, students are taking part in a game-changing program.

The Academy offers a wide variety of courses and focuses. There are four pathways that include food science, plant science, animal science, and power, structural and mechanical systems. The Shepaug Agriscience page provides a detailed description of the wide variety of studies it offers, from farming focused classes to renewable energy and food sustainability classes.

The Agriculture Department says on their page that, “Agriscience possesses all of the elements of STEM. The content areas of science technology, engineering and math (STEM) are applied to real-world applications through the agriscience pathways. STEM is embedded within each lesson.” Not only does the academy have wonderfully fascinating classes and STEM programs, but it also has teachers that are incredibly prepared and ready to lead these students. Dr. Hermans, one of the agriscience teachers, said “There are lots of opportunities, we have a beautiful facility, and we have teachers that are knowledgeable in many different subject areas.” Dr. Hermans has taught college classes and is a veterinarian. Her first-hand experience in STEM, expertise, and teaching ability is shared among her fellow teachers. “I’ve taught at college and I’ve seen what kind of advantages these students will have. These students are gonna be so far ahead of the game in terms of the workplace, in terms of life skills, and in terms of college preparedness.” Says Dr. Hermans

The Ag students are not just learning STEM skills they are also learning crucial life skills. “The teachers put a lot of responsibility and trust in us. They also really have to make us understand where the line is.” Says Zoe Soletsky. Zoe is a ninth-grader who is currently enrolled in The Agriscience Academy.

Dr. Hermans also points out that the Ag teachers are, “trying to help the students learn to be independent thinkers and that there isn’t always a right answer. The students are really learning to be aware of and engaged in the world around them.”

The Agriscience Academy At The Shepaug Valley School is teaching these young people to be independent, aware, and successful. The Shepaug community is certainly lucky to have these hard working learners who are prepared to change the world.