Pittsburgh Penguins October 2022 Teacher of the Month

Future GoalsTM Program

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Pittsburgh Penguins October 2022 Teacher of the Month


Sherrill Farmer


Avalon Elementary

Classroom Team:

Tell us about yourself!

I am a 6th grade Math and Science teacher at Avalon Elementary in the Northgate School District. I have taught for 26 years. The single most important reason I become a teacher was because of my deep love of learning which I want to pass along to others. Nothing makes me happier and more fulfilled than seeing a student discover their passion, experience success in learning, or come to understand the importance of perseverance. Previously I have written grants to help create school gardens. These helped students realize the importance of healthy eating, while also teaching students skills to grow their own vegetables. Growing up my dream job was to be the CEO of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Who is your favorite NHL® player and why?

Mario Lemieux! His resilience during his career was amazing. Mario Lemieux spent his entire career fighting health problems. Whether it was his on-going battle with back pain, cancer, or an irregular heartbeat, the Magnificent One never played at 100 percent. Let us not forget his most love Pittsburgh feat, he saved hockey in Pittsburgh! But being a teacher and athlete myself his desire to perform at a prominent level no matter what is something that I try to instill in my students. I constantly tell them to always try and do their best.

What is your favorite part of the Future Goals™program? How do you see STEM in the game of hockey?

My favorite part of the Future Goals program is how they show students the uses of math and science in real life applications. Many students do not see the relationships of what they are learning to real world applications. Future Goals shows them many different concepts and how the apply to hockey. STEM is present is every aspect of Hockey. From the ice to the puck, to their gear and their sticks. Even the way hockey players shape their skates is STEM related. My favorite application for 6th grade is the way Future Goals integrates finding area of the ice. It is a progressive lesson that starts with counting block to multiplication to finally discovering the formula for area.

If you played hockey, what position would you play and why?

If I played hockey, I would want to be the center. As a teacher I want to be the one in charge. As a center I would be able to take face-offs and control the play.