“Just Be Happy”: Gorman Finds Passion in Love for Agriculture


Photo Courtesy of Kathleen Gorman

Ms. Kathleen Gorman, a second year Agriculture Production teacher, joined campus after earning her Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from UConn.

Autumn Johnson, Ag/FFA Reporter

WOODBURY — The Woodbury FFA has been one of the top chapters in the state — and the nation — for the past few decades, with around 40% of Nonnewaug students making up the population of the program. Students don’t usually take the time to think about the people behind the scenes that create the remarkable opportunities within agriscience and make this program possible. 

A hallmark of Gorman’s classes has been her ability to create an environment that’s engaging and hands-on for all students. (Photo Courtesy of Kathleen Gorman)

Kathleen Gorman, one of NHS’ newest additions, joined Nonnewaug for the 2020-21 school year. Since then, Gorman has brought a positive attitude and contributions to the ag department. 

Growing up, Gorman wasn’t entirely sure what she wanted to study; she didn’t know what she was going to do or where she would end up. Ultimately, she saw herself teaching for many years, her hopes and goals for the future were simple: “Just to be happy,” Gorman told the Chief Advocate. 

Prior to becoming a teacher, Gorman was an Americorps member which she feels helped to prepare her for her current role.   

“Being an Americorps member you volunteer your time and work with the community, which helped create relationship-building experiences,” she said.

Americorps mission is to improve the lives of others, grow strength in communities, and encourage engagement with the use of service and volunteering. Gorman’s time in Americorps speaks to her hardworking and altruistic nature though she brings those qualities and so much more to NHS. 

“She came with knowledge, enthusiasm, technological savvy, and the ability to create positive relationships with students, ” said Ed Belinski, a veteran member of the NHS agricscience department. “She filled the hole we were missing when Mr. [Bill] Davenport left.” 

Not only does Gorman now teach ag at NHS, but she is also a part of the Woodbury FFA alumni. Her love for ag paired with her desire to teach “allowed the pieces to fit,” leading her to the position she now holds today.

Along with being an agriscience alumna (class of 2012) at Nonnewaug, prior to returning to campus Gorman filled her time with professional dance for eight years as well as competitive dance for seven years. Gorman’s passion for dance was balanced with her pursuit of a degree in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Science from the University of New Hampshire. 

Gorman’s positive and inspiring attitude creates a comfortable environment for her coworkers, students, and herself.

“She makes class fun, and it makes me look forward to coming into class,” Zuzana Jurkowski says about Gorman’s exciting teaching style.   

In addition to creating an environment which is positive for students, she looks forward to coming to campus daily, teaching and engaging with her classes. Gorman’s positive energy will continue to make NHS a enjoyable and inclusive place for students and teachers for years to come.