Sarasota Teacher Recognized with Agriculture Award for Excellence

Sarasota Military Academy Major (SMA-MAJ) Deb Walker, a teacher at the  Sarasota Military Academy Prep middle school campus, received the “2019 Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture” award from the Florida Agriculture in the Classroom organization.

As the winner of the award in the middle school category, SMA-MAJ Walker will represent Florida at the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference, held in Little Rock, Arkansas where she will receive additional recognition and a $500 honorarium.

“I am incredibly honored to receive the ‘Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture’ Award from Florida Agriculture in the Classroom as I believe in the importance of teaching our future leaders about the future of the agriculture industry, our responsibilities as global citizens and the opportunities for growth and learning,” said SMA-MAJ Deb Walker.

SMA-MAJ Walker was awarded for her role in teaching middle school cadets about opportunities and ways to feed a growing population. In addition to the agricultural curriculum, cadets are taught astrobotany and classes participate in the NASA “Growing Beyond Earth” Projects program. The cadets learn to research, plan, experiment and evaluate different agricultural methods throughout the year.

“Our teachers constantly go above and beyond for our cadets and our academy, and we are proud of Major Walker and her contributions to our school,” said SMA-COL Christina Bowman, Sarasota Military Academy Executive Director of Schools. “Through the work of talented individuals like Major Walker, our cadets are exposed to incredible opportunities, academic success and the ability to find ways to make a positive impact on the world around them.”

“Each year, we have an incredible roster of teachers throughout the state who find innovative ways to bring agriculture into their classrooms, and the quality of their lessons and ideas continue to amaze us,” said Becky Sponholtz, Florida Agriculture in the Classroom Executive Director. “We are excited to recognize teachers for their hard work as they use agriculture in their year-long instruction.”

About Florida Agriculture in the Classroom
Florida Agriculture in the Classroom (FAITC) is a nonprofit organization with the mission to increase agriculture literacy through PreK-12 education in Florida. FAITC develops and trains teachers and agriculture industry volunteers with materials used to educate students about the importance of agriculture. The organization additionally provides grant money and recognizes outstanding teachers and volunteers throughout the year. To learn more about Florida Agriculture in the Classroom, visit

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school and college preparatory academy with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit

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