A 2009 Lebanon graduate, Mr. Andrew Dardini, has returned to his alma mater to do what he loves: teaching and agriculture. Mr. Dardini is looking forward to his first semester at Lebanon High School, in which he has filled Mrs. Mustin’s teaching position this winter. Previously, Dardini taught agriculture and business classes at Clinton Central for three years, until coming back to Lebanon.
“Lebanon is home for me and I love it here. When the position opened up, I knew I had to take it,” said Dardini.
Dardini first became interested in agriculture when he was in high school, in which his teachers helped him figure out his love for agriculture. He took his passion to Purdue where he studied agriculture education and plant soil science.
“During my years at Purdue, I learned the importance of crop nutrients, the role of fertilizers and how to teach these techniques to others,” said Dardini.
A couple weeks into the semester, Dardini has become heavily involved with FFA. He supervises almost everything that goes on in the green house, helps with demos, landscape CDE (agriculture events), floriculture CDE, crops, soils and entomology.
“One of my goals for FFA this year is to get the FFA name out there into the community and raise awareness of what we do here at LHS. I want to get the FFA chapter more involved with projects and try to get more kids involved for the upcoming years,” said Dardini.
Outside of teaching, Dardini enjoys spending time with friends and family, bonfires, and running his blueberry farm. Something that no one knows about Mr. Dardini is that he owns and operates his own blueberry farm that he has had for four years now.
“I enjoy being outside and getting to see the different plants and doing something different…. The blueberry farm was originally a research project in college that I did one semester and it got bigger over time. I started with six plants and now the farm is 2 ½ acers. I enjoy being outside and getting to see the different plants and doing something different every day,” said Dardini.
Another fact about Dardini that most students and staff do not know is the small business he runs outside of school. He runs a crop consulting business where he travels to different states and countries and talks with farmers who are having issues with their plants and crops.
“I started this business in 2013 and over the 4/5 years, I have traveled and met so many cool people and experienced cool things in the communities I visited. said Dardini.
With being a new teacher here at LHS and already being heavily involved in FFA, Dardini is excited to see what 2018 has to offer.