Five educators who use environmental education as a tool to improve student learning and foster environmental stewardship were named the 2013 National Outstanding Educators by Project Learning Tree® (PLT), the environmental education program of the American Forest Foundation. Since 1994, PLT’s Outstanding Educators have been selected for their commitment to environmental education, exemplary use of PLT, and exceptional teaching skills.
From left to right, the 2013 National PLT Outstanding Educators and their home states are--
- Connecticut: Lynn Kochiss, Grade 3 Teacher, Woodside Elementary School, Cromwell
- Maine: Cameron Kay Sutton, Grades 7–8 Science Teacher, Auburn Middle School, Auburn
- Michigan: Maureen Stine, Conservation Educator, U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, Onaway
- Ohio: Cheri Goggin, Grades 9–12 Physical and Environmental Science Teacher, Berkshire Junior/Senior High School, Burton
- Virginia: Allison Hall Kiesler, a lifetime environmental educator in school and community settings in Richmond.
They will be honored at PLT’s 27th International Coordinators’ Conference, April 29-May 2, in Point Clear, Alabama. Their diverse experiences illustrate how PLT can be used effectively on the ground with all age groups, both in the classroom or outdoors, and across the curriculum--especially in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math.)
In nominating the 2013 PLT Outstanding Educators, their colleagues pointed to their commitment, creativity, and energy in working with students of all ages and abilities. For example, when students asked questions about recycling, Lynn Kochiss helped them create and organize an after-school environmental club that is an active part of their Connecticut community. Similarly, Cheri Goggin empowered her high school students in Ohio to write grant proposals to fund school service projects, and Cameron Sutton is known for her ability to provide students in Maine with meaningful and relevant outdoor learning experiences. Maureen Stine is known throughout northern Michigan for connecting many different educational programs and opportunities to benefit children of all ages, as was Allison Kiesler in the Richmond, VA, area who provided access to green areas and outdoor experiences in an urban setting.
In announcing the awards, Kathy McGlauflin, senior vice president for education at the American Forest Foundation, said, “Schools must prepare our next generation with the skills necessary to address complex environmental issues. These five outstanding educators show how integrating environmental education and PLT across the curriculum engages students in learning science and all core subjects, and inspires them to make a difference in their communities.”
Learn more about the 2013 National Project Learning Tree Outstanding Educators.