Nominate teachers for OUTstanding Teacher Award
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Nominate teachers for OUTstanding Teacher Award

Nominate teachers for OUTstanding Teacher Award

NOMINATE teachers who use nature as a classroom FOR AN OUTSTANDING TEACHER AWARD

Nominate teachers for OUTstanding Teacher Award

DAYTON, OH (Jan. 4, 2018) — Five Rivers MetroParks is accepting nominations for its third annual OUTstanding Teacher Award, open to Dayton-area classroom educators who teach any subject from pre-K through high school. Nominations are due Tuesday, Jan. 31.

The award includes three nomination categories:
• Rising Star (less than 10 years of teaching experience)
• Leader (10 to 20 years)
• Lifetime Achievement (more than 20 years)

“Children who have the opportunity to connect with nature on a regular basis are often happier, healthier and smarter,” said Lauren Asquith, a Five Rivers MetroParks education specialist. “This award recognizes educators who use nature as a classroom to explore a variety of academic disciplines, and celebrates the impact of these educators in our community.”

Awardees will be honored at the Miami Valley Leave No Child Inside Summit held Saturday, March 10, at Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark. Winning teachers also will receive an award package containing:

  • A one-year membership to the Cox Arboretum Foundation and a field trip to Cox Arboretum MetroPark for the winning teachers’ class (includes transportation).
  • Kit with plants selected for winning teachers’ schools
  • Environmental Education Council of Ohio membership (includes money to use toward the 101 Conference held at Camp Kern the first weekend of October) 
  • Outdoor educational materials to assist in connecting students to the environment

Funded through the James M. Cox Jr. Arboretum Foundation, the award is for teachers providing students with outdoor, environmental experiences that inspire interest in and positive attitudes about nature.

“Submitting a nomination is a great way for students, parents, teachers, principals, family or friends to acknowledge and honor a teacher who is using nature across their curriculum,” Asquith says.

Anyone can nominate a teacher by writing a short essay or producing a video (less than five minutes long) that answers the following:

  • Why do you feel this teacher is deserving of the OUTstanding Teacher Award?
  • In what ways does this teacher get students outside during the school day?
  • In what ways does this teacher weave nature into the curriculum?
  • Does this teacher get students outdoors after typical school hours? Please provide specifics about what the teacher does!
  • What are the most significant positive impacts the nominee has made on other teachers/ the school community?
  • How does your candidate go above and beyond leading his/her students in outdoor experiences? Please provide specific examples of what the teacher does!
  • How does this teacher utilize outdoor space at the school? Has he/she created or enhanced a green school yard?
  • Why are you personally nominating this person?

Additionally, award submissions should include two photos of the teacher that capture the great work he/she are doing, getting kids outside and bringing nature into the curriculum.

Nominations can be submitted by completing an online form and either posting a video to YouTube or uploading the written essay. Information on judging criteria can be found online at Videos do not have to be professionally produced, as the content of the message is what will be judged. Please be as specific as possible in your nomination, so judges have a clear understanding of the amazing work and the impact of your award candidate. 

Community volunteers with a background in outdoor education will judge the awards. Five Rivers MetroParks employees, the James M. Cox Jr. Foundation board members, Wegerzyn Gardens Foundation board members, Friends of Carriage Hill board members, Five Rivers MetroParks Foundation board members, award judges and their immediate families are not eligible.

Celebrating more than 50 years of preserving green space and natural areas, Five Rivers MetroParks is a nationally renowned park system composed of natural area parks, gardens, high-quality river corridors, urban parks and a network of recreation trails. Five Rivers MetroParks protects the region’s natural heritage and provides outdoor experiences that inspire a personal connection with nature. Educational programs and recreational opportunities are offered year-round for all ages. Five Rivers MetroParks is accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies. To learn more about Five Rivers MetroParks, log onto or call 937-275-PARK (7275).

More Information
  • Directory Profile:

    Five Rivers MetroParks
    Five Rivers MetroParks protects the region's natural heritage and provides outdoor experiences that inspire a personal connection with nature.