The most vital relationship of Grow It Know It is that between the AmeriCorps VISTA service member and the school community the VISTA serves. Each and every school day, the AmeriCorps VISTA, serving in the role of the school gardener, organizes resources and volunteers for the benefit of the school garden, trains school staff and students to run their own sustainability program, meets with teachers to examine how the garden can be brought into the classroom, and in general flies all over the school from here to there and back again, doing their best to build a community around the idea that school gardens are good for us all.
Middle School VISTAs
Joshua Truitt is a recent graduate from the University of Georgia where he received both a BSA in Agricultural Education, and a Master’s Degree in Agricultural and Environmental Education. He is very excited to be working with the Americorps Vista Program as a Grow It Know It Vista! He will be working with the Barrow County School System. Some of his hobbies include dancing, music, and photography.
Katie Stanhope has a Bachelors degree in Community Health from Georgia College and State University. Her interests include sustainability, nutrition, education and social justice. She has worked on farms in middle Georgia and the Caribbean and is excited to start her year of service as a middle school garden VISTA. she will be based at Hillsman Middle School for the upcoming school year.
Mackenzie Stewart is a recent graduate of UGA, with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. After her u[coming year Americorps VISTA she hopes to work with a nonprofit organization around the Athens area. She will be serving at Coile Middle School in Winterville during the upcoming school year. She is excited to gain experience in the garden as well as in a school setting.
Tess Wilson is returning to her alma mater, Clarke Middle School, to serve as a VISTA. Tess has worked in service and hospitality and recently graduated with a Bachelor’s in Psychology. She enjoys working with kids, animals, and in the garden so she feels right at home in her position.
Jim Warner has a Bachelors of Science Degree from Ball State University in Muncie Indiana. He recently retired after serving 37 years with the United States Government. jim and his wife recently moved to the Athens area from Indiana. He is looking forward to working with the students and community at Burney Harris Lyons Middle School.
USDA Grant Program Coordinator
Andie Bisceglia is recent UGA graduate with an MS from the Department of Crop and Soil Science. Her thesis research was on how school gardens affect student thinking around sustainability and healthy eating. Previosuly, she earned a BS in environmental studies from Bates College in Maine, and worked as an environmental educator and farm apprentice at a variety of farms, outdoor education centers, community gardens, and botanical gardens on the east coast.