A teacher loved by all

Ethan Struble, Staff Reporter

Bellefonte has some of the best teachers schools have to offer. One of these instructors is an individual who makes education for students fun and enjoyable: Mrs. Myken Poorman. 

Mrs. Poorman is the agriculture teacher at BAHS. She teaches many courses, from Pre-Veterinary Science to Agricultural Mechanics. Her classes encourage students to explore their interests  and prepare them to become responsible citizens in their communities. 

Mrs. Poorman is also an advisor for Bellefonte’s FFA club.

“FFA is dedicated to making positive changes in students by developing their potential for leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education,” she said. 

Mrs. Poorman believes that agriculture is crucial to society now, as well as in the future.

“I believe what I teach is important because without agriculture we’d all be naked and hungry,” she said.

Mrs. Poorman has been teaching a total of 13 years, and all 13 have been spent at Bellefonte High School. She applied and got the teaching job after she graduated from Penn State, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Sciences with a minor in Environmental Soil Science and a master’s in Agricultural Extension and Education with a focus on Energy Efficiency and Biomass Systems. While she was there she worked as a soil scientist with the National Resource Conservation Service.

Throughout her years of teaching, Mrs. Poorman has had many great moments. She took her students to the Dominican Republic on a service learning trip in 2017. She began the BAHS Sustainable Gardens, which donates all produce to the school cafeteria and Bellefonte families in need. She was named the 2018 National Grange Teacher of the Year; has taken on the role of FFA Advisor; and has served on many school, community, and state organizations. She also assisted in the planning and development of community gardens for a Somali Bantu Urban Farm in Pittsburgh.

Sometimes things don’t always go as planned for Mrs. Poorman, though. 

“Being a teacher is hard, period. There are always good days and bad days, but thankfully, I’ve had more good than bad in my career so far,” she said.

Some of those bad days occur when she encounters students who care little for their education. 

“I worry for them and I want to do more to motivate them to care about their learning and it’s frustrating when that’s not being demonstrated in class,” she said. 

She understands that school can be tough for students and she tries to make it better for her students in any way she can.

“I was there… I disliked high school a lot, but I had one teacher who made learning relevant to my life, used real world and practical applications, and made it fun. She taught me to love learning and is the reason I am a teacher today,” she said.

Mrs. Poorman prioritizes her students’ education and well-being over anything else, whether it’s inside or outside the classroom. 

“She is very versatile and good about getting involved in student activities and she cares a lot about her students,” senior Molly McKee said.

Molly admires Mrs. Poorman and says that she is her favorite teacher in the school. 

“She teaches the best classes relating to agriculture…She is a very admirable teacher and she takes pride in what she does,” said Molly.