Featured photo: May, 2019, National Farm to School tour of Greco Gardens and the new Tampa Bay Farm 2 School Community Compost.
Tampa Bay Farm 2 School Advisory Board
Travis Barnes is the Recycling Coordinator for Hillsborough County. He has over 10 years of experience working with local governments in public administration, environmental planning, sustainability, and solid waste management. Travis received a BA in Environmental Studies from the University of North Carolina and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He also has professional accreditations including being recognized as a Certified Manager of Recycling Systems by the Solid Waste Association of North America and a LEED Accredited Professional by the U.S. Green Building Council. Mr. Barnes is also actively involved with several local and state environmental organizations including Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, Recycle Florida Today, and the Florida Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council where he has led green schools initiatives. Mr. Barnes formed the partnership between TTF2S and USGBC and continues to serve as liaison for the organizations.
Li Zhu, an international student Shanghai, China, is a Patel College of Global Sustainability MA student with a concentration in Food Security and Sustainability. Zhu obtained a B.A. in English and minor in Economics. Working with Professor Culhane, Zhu has developed expertise in building biodigesters with the goal of integrating the energy, food, water nexus. Currently he is working on developing an approach that combines sustainable tourism and food security to achieve sustainable development goals.
Zhu held the position of "Sustainability Coordinator" during his internship with TTF2S. In that capacity he worked with school partners implement a school cafeteria food waste audit and learn about composting. At the conclusion of his internship, Li transitioned to the role of "Social Media Coordinator." Li's work during the 2016/17 school year is made possible by student internship sponsors Beth and Gerry Curts and Ken Ward. Beth Bosserman Curts
Close to retiring after a 47 year career in the financial industry; 25 years with Raymond James Financial and 22 years in investment banking prior to that, I was searching for “what’s next”. I have always been a farm girl at heart, hearing stories from my Dad who was raised on a farm in Kansas. Our move to Florida when I was young brought us to the outskirts of Tampa allowing the family to garden, raise chickens and rabbits; the neighbors had horses. As my husband, Milan and I raised our sons in South Tampa, there were always cats, dogs, turtles, snakes and the occasional injured bird to care for. We moved to Temple Terrace four years ago, living just behind Greco Middle School. I learned of the Farm2School program at a TT Garden Show and signed up with the TTF2S Volunteer Animal Care Team to assist in feeding the animals at Greco on weekends and holidays. This has turned out to be an amazing experience for our family. Our family suffered the loss of our daughter-in-law last year and I thought that caring for the animals would be good for our grandsons but it has proven to be a Godsend for us all. Mystic and Rebel, the miniature therapy horses plus Dolly the lamb have stolen our hearts. We’ve met so many wonderful people through the garden efforts and truly see the opportunity to volunteer with Farm2School as a family activity. Think I’ve found my “what’s next”.
A graduate of Greco Middle School and King High School, Beth has been an active contributor to Temple Terrace civic life for many years. In her professional life, she is most recently known for her work at MOSI setting up their Legacy Giving program. She has worked with public and private groups to strengthen positive corporate image, community presence, media outreach, constituent stewardship, and fundraising programs for overall program success. In her spare time, Beth does volunteer work helping lead (and singing in!) the international award-winning chorus group, The Toast of Tampa Show Chorus. Beth and her husband Gerry Curts fund the 2017/18 TTF2S student internship program in memory of George Fee.
A life-long resident of the city, Alison served on the Temple Terrace City Council for eight years and has a strong commitment to strengthening the public school system. She has served as president of the Juniors Women's Club and the Greco PTSA as well as serving in leadership positions within many civic organizations. Alison is a graduate of King High School and the University of South Florida.
Arnel currently serves as an Energy Specialist for Cenergistic, a nationwide firm partnering with public institutions to reduce expenditures on utilities. In his current role, he conducts on-site energy audits with the goal of reducing commodity consumption for Florida State University through the optimization of existing mechanical equipment. He also serves as the on-site liaison for data measurement and verification matters. Arnel is a member of the 2017 cohort of Mickey Leland Energy Fellows during which he served the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in New Orleans, LA. He holds the WELL Accredited Professional and accredited LEED Green Associate certifications. Arnel is a graduate from the Patel College of Global Sustainability at the University of South Florida concentrating in Sustainable Energy. He also graduated Magna Cum Laude from Florida State University with a degree in Mathematics. His passions include sustainable living, energy and agriculture. He shares with many the vision of Tampa Bay as an area growing and co-existing in harmony with its beautiful natural resources. Arnel joined the TT Farm2School organization during the 2014-15 school year to build and support school gardens through investing in their natural capital and most importantly their human capital – the burgeoning next generation of sustainability leaders. Arnel is proud to be a Tampa native, a graduate of King High School and Florida State University.
Jean Jacques Werleigh was born and grew up in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and graduated high school in Polk County, FL. He received a BS in Biology, a minor in Health Sciences, and did additional course work in Medical Anthropology at the University of Central Florida. Jacques was president of IDEAS for UCF for two years prior to graduating. In this leadership role he learned a great deal about environmental advocacy stewardship, community service, and grassroots movements. Jacques also led the volunteer program and managed the community garden at the UCF Arboretum. Presently he is pursuing a master's degree at USF Patel College for Global Sustainability with a focus on Food Security and Sustainability. Jacques aspires to work for global organizations such as Oxfam, UN FAO, USAID focusing on Food production, food policy, food waste and the environmental impact associated with food production and consumption.
"All children deserve excellence in education and a diversity in the ways in which lessons are presented to them. Hands-on learning like that promoted by Temple Terrace Farm2School (TTF2S) helps teachers bring students out of the classroom and into the garden. As someone who specializes in high-impact learning practices, looks for community led initiatives, and believes in the importance of connecting kids to nature, I was honored to join TTF2S's founding board. I stay an active supporter of the groups mission and vision because I see the way this sustainable and scaleable school-based solution makes a real difference in the lives of school children." - Jennifer Webb, M.A., founder and director of Think Tampa Bay
Dr. Brooke Hansen, Advisory Board Emeritus
Dr. Brooke Hansen is the newly appointed Sustainable Tourism Director at the USF Patel College of Global Sustainability. She is a sustainability-oriented anthropologist with expertise in higher education administration, leadership, teaching and scholarship.
Adrian Gonzalez, Advisory Board Emeritus
Temple Terrace Farm2School is pleased to welcome our first Program Manager for the 2017/18 school year. Adrian grew up helping his father operate a blackberry farm in Mexico that exports blackberries worldwide. He is completing his masters degree at the Patel College of Global Sustainability with a food systems concentration. Adrian has been able to apply his research about how to to increase crop productivity in a sustainable way to bring improvements to his family's blackberry farm. He says of his work at Greco during the 2017/18 school year: "I'm looking forward to working with Greco's agriculture teacher, Ms Ladd, to help students understand the interconnection between food, health and the environment." The 2017 Temple Terrace Farm2School student internship is made possible by Ken Ward, Ward-Mitchell: Civil Trial Attorneys and by Beth and Gerry Curts, in memory of George Fee.
Arthur Polacow, Advisory Board Emeritus
Arthur Ramos Polacow is recent graduate of the Global Sustainability Program at the Patel College with a concentration in Sustainable Business. He grew up in Brazil helping his father operate commercial stores that include gas stations and now a burger restaurant. His passions include helping organizations to implement sustainable initiatives in their operations with an objective to reduce their environmental footprint and maximize their profit. Arthur is joining Farm2School as Program Manager for the spring 2018 semester with an objective to bring business perspectives to school gardens.
The 2018 Temple Terrace Farm2School student internship is made possible by Ken Ward, Ward-Mitchell: Civil Trial Attorneys and by Beth and Gerry Curts, in memory of George Fee.
Amanda Corsentino, Advisory Board Emeritus
Amanda Corsentino served as TTF2S Vice-President from 2014-2018. She is a Staff Attorney with the law firm of White & Case. Amanda holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of South Florida and a Juris Doctorate from Stetson University College of Law.
Melissa Miller Clemmer, Advisory Board Emeritus
Melissa Miller, MA, is a former Future Farmer of America (FFA) student member. Melissa was immediately drawn to the Temple Terrace Farm2School. With her oldest son a 6th grader at Greco, she was excited when she learned that he had an interest in becoming more involved. The importance of agriculture education is near and dear to her heart, as she personally understands the value of being exposed to farming and the many skills that are taught along the way.