2023-24 Fellow: Toni Zimmerman

6-8th Grade STEAM Teacher in Essex Junction, VT Albert D. Lawton Intermediate School

2023-24 Fellow: Toni Zimmerman has been teaching middle school students for 16 years. Originally from the Catskill region of New York, her passion for Math led to a BA from Hamilton College and a MBA from the University of Colorado, Denver. It was when she moved to Vermont that she began to share that passion as a math teacher.

Three years ago, she jumped at the opportunity to become a STEAM teacher. In this role, she is constantly learning new things with her students while introducing them to coding, robotics, engineering and moviemaking. In an effort to bring more real world curriculum and her passion for food to her students she discovered Pilot Light and its resources. Outside of school, Toni enjoys time with her 2 sons and husband enjoying mild adventures and vacations, where food is often the focus. On occasion, she will also push herself with new experiences like training for her first half marathon or attempting to garden.

Favorite Food Education Standard: FES #1: Food Connects Us to Each Other.

Food is a part of all of our lives, so it immediately connects us. When you start sharing those experiences, you can see how we are the same and appreciate how we are different. I love connecting with my students over food, whether it is stories from breaks, looking at the lunch menu, or planting vegetables. We get to know each other better through these conversations. Learning and sharing about food brings us together as a community, and helps us better understand each other.

A Favorite Food Memory or Recipe: 

One of my favorite educational memories was helping a group of students run a food truck. They were responsible for all aspects of it. They went through weeks of planning which included menu development, marketing and budgeting. On the day of the event they prepped, cooked and cleaned up. I’m not sure which I enjoyed more, the looks on the students’ faces or the adults they were serving! The joy it brought our school community that day was immeasurable.

Why I Became a Fellow: 

I am excited to work with the other fellows and make connections between Food Education and STEAM. I love collaborating with other educators around a common interest and I’m excited about how this will shape my curriculum by bringing Food Education to my students.

2023-24 Fellow Toni Zimmerman
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Follow Us

Donate to Pilot Light