MARY GRANT says she has always loved science, but she credits her sixth grade teacher with igniting the spark that has led her to a teaching career at her alma mater.

Bill Parker set up the Trout in the Classroom program at South Kortright Central School and took his students, including Mary, on field trips along the West Branch of the Delaware River to look for macroinvertebrates and to release the young trout. “Mr. Parker is a fabulous teacher,” says Mary, who is now teaching alongside her mentor.

Following graduation from SKCS, Mary went to SUNY Cortland and got an elementary teaching degree with an environmental science concentration. She returned to South Kortright to teach second grade, and is now pursuing a master’s in STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Mary was thrilled to have Mr. Parker help set up a hydroponic growing system in her classroom so students could follow the growth of lettuce and beans. Moving to third grade in 2017, she hopes to install a trout tank and perhaps inspire a future biologist or environmental science teacher.


CAREER ZONE profiles one of the many former Watershed and New York City students who credit their Watershed Education lessons and experiences for helping to propel them into environmental or teaching careers. Can you recommend a former student to be profiled in “CAREER ZONE? Contact Diane Galusha