SAI Reflections: Suze Manci

Reflections on the 2017 Summer Agriculture Institute

By Suze Manci

I have been a kindergarten teacher for the past 12 years at Flagstaff Community Christian School. I know that anytime you can physically link a student to their subject matter, the rate of learning increases significantly. I applied for the Summer Agricultural Institute to provide hands-on experiences for my students in the area of food and nutritional choices. I was hoping that this information would provide an increased interest in the food they eat by showing from where it comes. My plan is to bring my students into direct contact with their food and increase their knowledge which would directly impact their nutritional choices.

I was extremely impressed with organization of the Institute, as well as with the business members who participate in this program. The thing that impressed me the most was seeing the roots of America that I thought had been lost in our current culture. Here are generations of families working together and carrying on a heritage. Here’s are a group of people who choose to make things last instead of quickly throwing things out. Here are a businesses displaying community values and coming alongside their neighbors. This summer I found a community working together to provide healthy nutrition to the state of Arizona.

I'm bringing more than hands-on nutrition education to my classroom. I'm also bringing back the ideas that family, hard work, and community are still important into my social studies curriculum. I was very blessed to be able to be a part of this summer's Institute and be able to have a closer look at the current agricultural community in Arizona.

Suze Manci
Kindergarten Teacher
Flagstaff Community Christian School


This is the third of three reflections by Coconino County teachers who participated in the 2017 Summer Agricultural Institute, a program for grade-school educators throughout Arizona to help them better integrate agricultural topics in their classrooms and schools. Diablo Trust raised money for the program in April, and will distribute those funds to the program this winter, including reimbursing the three teachers from Coconino County (where Diablo Trust and its ranches are located) for their application fees.

  • Marsha Reynolds
  • Michelle Weidinger