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On the evening of May 16, teachers and students met to honor one Brunswick County educator who far exceeded all teaching expectations in environmental sciences.
At its awards banquet, Brunswick Soil and Water Conservation District Director Mamie Caison announced this year’s honor went to Joene Conley of Boiling Spring Lakes.
The award takes into consideration an educator’s individual leadership, service and commitment to the environment and conservation. In addition to the Envirothon program, Conley has worked steadfastly with all of the district’s educational programs for more than 11 years. This past school year, she served as an advisor to the Midnight Vox Populi Envirothon team. She also plans to attend the National Envirothon in Canada this summer working as a volunteer. Conley is the only teacher to be recognized more than once in Brunswick County for her long-term commitment, teaching excellence and stewardship activities.
Also recognized at the celebratory event were the winners of the district’s poster and essay contests, which offer an opportunity for students to develop and enhance their creativity through art and writing.
The theme for this school year was “Water…The Cycle of Life.” The 2011 county winners were: third-grade poster, Brianna Harlow of Waccamaw Elementary School, teacher Deborah Thompson; sixth- grade poster, Mason Espinoza, Cedar Grove Middle School, teacher Sarah Darnell; and sixth-grade essay, Emma King, Waccamaw Elementary School, teacher Emily Long.
Katherine Ingram, parent/teacher coordinator at Waccamaw Elementary, received a certificate for her diligent work promoting the district contest this year.
Members of the Midnight Vox Populi team were recognized for their competition in the district, coastal and state Envirothons. This environmental education program affords students the opportunity to immerse themselves in a year-long learning process that combines in-class curriculum with hands-on field experiences facilitated by resource professionals such as soil scientists, foresters and wildlife specialists.
Home-schooled team members to receive awards were: Paden LeDoux, Kirsten Bohr, McKala Hanes, and Rachel Conley. John Rores was recognized and thanked for his assistance in teaching the Midnight Vox Populi team, as well as Miller Caison of the N.C. Forest Service for his assistance to the team with tree measurements and identifications.
In the past, the Brunswick Soil and Water Conservation District has been proud to sponsor students to attend the Resource Conservation Workshop at North Carolina State University every summer. This workshop is open to all Brunswick County schools, and students are chosen for their excellent academic standing and their interest in environmental science. The primary objective of this workshop is learning about natural resources and their management in today’s environment.
With the assistance and support of the Brunswick County Farm Bureau, four students were afforded the opportunity in June 2010 to attend the weeklong workshop in Raleigh. Recognized for their attendance were: Rachel Conley, home schooled, and Trey Hewett, Chris Lasater and Markell Stanley of West Brunswick High School.
Special recognition went to district board supervisor Bryan Smith. For more than 50 years, Smith has played an active role in agriculture in Brunswick County while serving on the Board of Supervisors for the Brunswick Soil and Water Conservation District. His wife Jackie has also played an active role in natural resource education, serving many years on the North Carolina Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts’ Auxiliary.
For additional information on any of the district’s programs, call 253-2830.