Valerie (Sutton) Honey

Language Arts Teacher, Advisor, and Work-Based Learning Coordinator--Jennings Community School

Val’s journey to Urban Boatbuilders has been an adventure that at least occasionally involved a canoe but always included working with youth. Before becoming a teacher, she spent her teen years counseling and serving on staff at a summer camp along the shores of Minnesota’s Lake Beauty. However, it was a college experience chaperoning 40-plus Cambodian adults and teens in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area that was the most pivotal. From her farm girl days as a child to teaching in the western suburbs and now advising students in a much more diverse urban setting, she has found the most rewarding challenge as a work-based learning coordinator and teacher at Jennings Community School. There she discovered the value of experiential learning, supportive social enterprises, and the difference a place like Urban Boatbuilders can make in the lives of the youth and families it serves.

Val has two almost adult sons who love outdoor adventures as well. Some of their most memorable youth experiences were set in MN state parks campgrounds or along hikes in Glacier National Park and all over Utah.

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