Local Teachers Selected for NCSU Bioproducts USDA Grant Program

Thank you, Cumberland County Schools, for featuring your teachers and SBBP in this recent post. It is a pleasure to work with all of the dedicated teachers in our program.




Fayetteville, NC –The Cumberland County Schools (CCS) recently announced the selection of four of its high school teachers chosen to be a part of a team of 19 high school science and Career and Technical Education (CTE) teachers to engage in the Sustainable Bioproduct and Bioenergy Program. The four local high school teachers selected to participate are as follows:

Amy Elliott – Douglas Byrd High School
Frankie Farbotko – Cape Fear High School
Allison Heald – Cape Fear High School
Maureen Stover Cumberland International Early College High School

The professional development project, funded by the USDA, will equip the teachers with tools to share exciting lessons and introduce students to emerging bioeconomy career opportunities.

“We are proud of these teachers and their commitment to our students and professional growth,” said Dr. Marvin Connelly, Jr., superintendent of the CCS. “We are confident, through this collaboration between the CCS and NCSU, our teachers and students will serve as models for others throughout our district and North Carolina.”

“I’m interested in helping students learn about up and coming technology to become better stewards of the earth,” said Amy Elliot, a Biology teacher at Douglas Byrd High School. “I consider this a wonderful opportunity to improve my skills as a teacher in order to inspire my students.”

During the next two years, teachers in the program will learn about the bioeconomy through online courses and summer workshops in Raleigh. From there, they will carry out new lessons with their students, using classroom equipment kits provided by project funding, collect data, and participate in an annual bioproducts and bioenergy career night at their high schools.

Cape Fear High School CTE Teacher Frankie Farbotko is excited about the outlook the Program will help provide his students. “In my opinion, high school students need three facets in a class to pursue a future career: active subject-matter engagement, economic viability of the subject matter, and teacher motivation. This project provides all three,” said Farbotko. “I am passionate about our environment and how sustainable agriculture can provide that impetus for students to seek higher education in this field.”