As Marketing Director for CAERT, Inc, Kathy Novotney is able to take her experiences as a classroom teacher, along with the knowledge she gained from working alongside teachers thoughout the state of Illinois, to market the Career and Technical Education Curriculum Resources. "I am truly learning something new every hour, and am constantly thinking of ways to better connect with teachers on a nationwide level."
Novotney works with with pre-service teachers at academic institutions across the nation, and provides training via Skype and Google Hangouts. Novotney says, "This connection has been great, as I truly think the on-line curriculum resource product is great for new and beginning teachers."
Novotney believes she is fortunate to have attended U of I, where she was surrounded with new and innovative approaches to learning about agriculture and early exposure to the new advances in agriculture. Ag teachers need a strong work ethic, determination, confidence, and proficiency in public speaking, traits that were cultivated in ACES’ classrooms. “I enjoyed ACES’ small-college atmosphere as well as the big university surroundings. My ACES professors remembered me long after the one semester of class we shared, while the entire U of I gave me experiences and opportunities I know I wouldn’t have had at another institution,” she said. “These experiences are not offered at every institution. I was truly blessed to learn from the best!”
The U of I’s hands-on approach to learning also benefited Novotney. “In my greenhouse management class, I managed an entire crop of poinsettias. In my floral design classes, I not only learned how to arrange flowers, but also how to market the designs and manage an entire floral business. In my animal science classes, we didn’t just learn about the animals, we learned how to interact with them, work with them, and feed them to get desired traits,” she said.
Novotney said she is grateful to have been able to not only attend a world class university, but also be apart of the lives of pre-service teachers at the University of Illinois. "While as an undergrad, I always knew that I wanted to make an impact on the lives of others through agricultural education. It was my ag teacher, who told me to make it my goal every day. I have certainly kept that as a constant, as my career path has changed. I'm thankful for the incredible opportunities I now have, due to the place I chose to start my post-secondary education!"