ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATORS OF THE YEAR - 2020

MISHA SMITH - HAWTHORNE ELEMENTARY

My mission as an educator is to inspire curiosity, critical thinking and creative problem solving in my students.  I strive to instill an understanding that knowledge is powerful, and students can use this power to improve their world.  I love to get my students outdoors and in the field as much as possible, as well as connecting them with guest speakers and experts locally and globally.  Most of the learning that takes place in my classroom is hands on and inquiry project based, and involves just the right amount of controlled chaos to be fun and engaging.

-Misha

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ALI WARD - BOISE HIGH

As an educator I see myself as a facilitator, a science tour guide, shepherding, and apprenticing my students as they tap into their own curiosity and follow their paths of inquiry and exploration.  Science experimentation and learning are at times messy, smelly, nuanced, and difficult, and often must take place outdoors.  Most scientific questions don't have simple or clearly "right" answers and environmental justice is, in my mind, a core subject.  Helping my students become scientifically literate and able to see multiple angles and approaches to solving an environmental problem is my passion.
-Ali

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MATT PODOLSKY - WILD LENS COLLECTIVE

To me, environmental education represents the connective tissue that brings together all the most urgent issues that humanity currently faces.  I embrace a new environmentalism that teaches us about the interconnected nature of our current planetary crisis, and strive to show others through storytelling that social justice, racial justice and income inequality are inextricably linked to the climate crisis, the extinction crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.  The role of environmental educators in analyzing and communicating these critical connections is urgent as we enter a future of overlapping crises, and I'm honored to be recognized for the small role that I play in this complex, interdisciplinary field. 
-Matt

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SANDY RACINE - VOLUNTEER WITH THE PEREGRINE FUND'S WORLD CENTER FOR BIRDS OF PREY

As an educator & lover of kids for well over 36 years, my volunteer time the last four years at the World Center For Birds of Prey has given me an incredible knowledge base & the ability to share my passion for raptors & their most needed conservation with a variety of people young and old.  Seeing kids & adults light up when they see a raptor up close & personal brings me such joy. My goal is for all visitors to value raptors in the wild & appreciate their value in our environment. 
As I end all my school tours with a cheer...
RAPTORS RULE!
-Sandy

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ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATOR
OF THE YEAR AWARDS

Each year, four outstanding classroom and community educators are recognized for their unique and invaluable contributions to the field of Environmental Education. 

Nominations Closed

Accepted May through July

PRIMARY / SECONDARY EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR

Formal educators are typically school teachers.

NON-FORMAL EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR

Non-formal refers to educators that work outside of a formal school system.

VOLUNTEER EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR

Volunteers make the world go round!

 

PAST AWARD RECIPIENTS

2019

Lauresta Welty         Elementary

Melyssa Ferro          Secondary

Stephanie Day         Non-formal

Kimberly Semple     Volunteer


2018

Debbie Bell               Elementary

Steve Demers           Secondary

Courtney Couch       Non-formal

Jennifer Ellis             Volunteer


2016

Amy Silver                Elementary

Mary Engels             Non-formal

Jane Matthews        Volunteer


2015

Erin Stutzman           Secondary

Tate Mason               Non-formal

Denise Keyser          Volunteer


Julie Scanlin     Lifetime Achievement


2014

Sandy Kindt              Elementary

John Schisel             Secondary

Lori Adams               Non-formal

Liana Litzsinger        Volunteer


2013

Purley Decker                       Elementary

Arlene Wolf                           Secondary

Rena Ashton                        Non-formal

Ann Christensen                  Volunteer


2012

Sheryce Davis                      Elementary

John Hastings                      Secondary

Sara Focht                           Non-formal


2011

Cara Sonnemann                Elementary

Clint Kennedy                      Secondary

Adare Evans                        Non-formal


2010

Sue Hansen Barber             Elementary

Gina Lockwood                   Secondary

Michelle Youngquist            Non-formal


2009

Dick Jordan              Secondary

Dick McCloskey       Non-formal


2008

Dan Hines                 Elementary

Gregg Losinski         Non-formal


2007

Jane Thornes           Elementary

Charlie Kator            Secondary

Steven Hines            Non-formal


2006

Christenia Coast     Elementary

Carri Thomason      Elementary

Diane Welch           Elementary

Amy Luft                 Non-formal


2005

Molly Pannkuk         Elementary

K.C. Jones               Secondary

Alana Jensen           Non-formal


2004

Renee McNally         Elementary

Robert Beckwith      Secondary

Greg Kaltenecker     Non-formal


2003

Donna Kent              Elementary

Doreen Beck            Elementary

Jan Wathen              Elementary

Darin Zarbnisky        Secondary

Denise Burnett         Non-formal


2002

Teri Burch                 Elementary

Kris Ablin-Stone       Secondary

Jennie Rylee            Non-formal

 

Nominations Open May - July

 

©2020 by Idaho Environmental Education Association.