DiMarco One of Many Teachers to Adjust During Pandemic


Woodbury FFA/Instagram

Tom DiMarco, the landscaping teacher at Nonnewaug, picks up a donation of seeds at Tractor Supply Co. in October.

Charlie Stock, Ag/FFA Reporter

WOODBURY — Beginning in 2020, the world has experienced a global pandemic which has infected more than 103 million people and has taken the lives of 2.23 million people all over the world. This year has been different with school, work, sports, and clubs. Yet teachers all over the country have made the best of what there is to work with, no matter where they are. 

Nonnewaug High School is a public high school with an agriscience program. About 50% of Nonnewaug’s students are in the ag program, including students from the Region 14 towns of Woodbury and Bethlehem as well as out-of-district students.

The Woodbury FFA and agriscience schools are all based on hands-on learning about fields in agriculture such as landscaping, ag production and vet science. There are 8,739 local FFA chapters throughout the 50 states and Puerto Rico — 760,113 students are a part of the FFA. 

Tom DiMarco is the landscaping teacher at Nonnewaug, a position he’s held for eight years. COVID-19 has greatly impacted the school’s landscaping class.

“I had to utilize new and different resources,” DiMarco said. “Being a teacher who primarily teaches through hands-on activities, I have had to find creative ways to reach students who are learning from home.”

DiMarco admitted that it can be difficult for both teachers and students to embrace and have fun with distance learning.

“One of the hardest things about teaching in the pandemic is myself and the students enjoying the online learning, rather than hands-on activities outside of the classroom,” DiMarco said.

The struggles of the year have carried over to every class at Nonnewaug and beyond. DiMarco is just one example of the millions of teachers who have overcome the situation and made a positive impact on so many students.