Canyon Ridge High School
Twin Falls, Idaho
Nicholas Waters’ first teaching position was far from typical: he was hired as the farm manager of Soil Stewards Farm, a University of Idaho student-run organization. In his role as manager, Nicholas supervised students in the field, teaching skills, techniques and theory involved in organic vegetable production. Nicholas’ appreciation of craftsmanship and artisanal production also informed his work as a substitute teacher in the Twin Falls School District, where his favorite teaching moment was “edible biology.” “Empowering students to grow their own food in an ecologically, economically and socially sustainable fashion has been very meaningful to me.”
Nicholas’ experience with agriculture also served him well in his internship with the World Hunger Relief program, where he was responsible for managing 1.5 acres of organic vegetable production in Waco, Texas. Nicholas further expanded his world view with trips to Japan, Mexico and Bulgaria, where he helped a friend develop an organic vegetable growing operation. These experiences, as well as opportunities to work with noted educators and agricultural development workers, have informed his teaching philosophy. “I hope to establish a biology curriculum that captivates students with the beauty and complexity of life and motivates them to study the world around them with the help of a hands-on organic farming practicum. It is my aim that this practicum would eventually allow the students to provide their school lunch program with the freshest produce available.”
Nicholas attended Twin Falls High School and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Idaho where he earned his BS in soil science and was awarded the Washington-North Idaho Seed Association Scholarship. He hopes to follow in his mentors’ footsteps “as a teacher who uses innovative, relevant strategies to teach students to think deeply, logically and critically.” Nicholas plans to teach in Idaho so he can serve rural students.