Pronunciation: EYE-leen, Torpy like torpedo
Title: Director of School and District Partnerships
As Director of School and District Partnerships, Eileen Torpy oversees Pilot Light’s external partnerships related to teacher professional development including AgEd (Agriculture Education) & Advocacy, Classroom to Cafeteria, and SnackTime Explorers. She is passionate about supporting educators as they teach through food and expanding access to Food Education to more classrooms nationwide!
Favorite Food Education Standard: FES #5 – Food Impacts Health:
Like several of the Pilot Light team members, I joke that I can’t pick a favorite Standard, only a favorite for that day. When forced to choose, “Food Education Standard 5: Food impacts health” serves as a touchstone because it was my entry point to this work! After losing close family members to cancer, I developed a deeper interest in food. I can be a pretty huge nerd about the microbiome and I dream of the day we’re able to build out a series of lessons and resources that expose students to the knowledge that we contain a wildly complex ecosystem inside our bodies!
A favorite food memory or recipe:
As a former high school World History teacher, I always appreciated teaching about the era of emerging global trade from 1450 – 1750. As an example to understand how dramatically our modern lives are impacted by this time period, my students would look at common foods in our diet (like pizza!) and uncover how they weren’t possible before this age of expansion because people didn’t have access to ingredients from different geographic regions. Students would always be shocked the more they learned about things like potatoes being South American, not European, in origin and intrigued by the dark history of sugar. Effective social studies instruction relies on building relevance, and few things help bridge that gap quite like food can!