Each year the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (OFSWCD) recognizes two outstanding classroom teachers (elementary and secondary) from across the state, chosen for their exemplary efforts and commitment to conservation education. The Geauga Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is proud to announce that Amy Hochschild of Burton Elementary School has been named the Ohio Conservation Teacher of the Year in the elementary category. In September, the District recognized Amy as Geauga County’s 2018-2019 Conservation Teacher of the Year and nominated her for the statewide award. Her efforts did not go unnoticed as she was selected for Ohio as the winner! She was recognized at the OFSWCD Annual Meeting Awards Luncheon on February 26th in Columbus where she received an award.
As an educator Amy is creative, fun, and supportive to her students. She engages them with hands-on experiences, projects, and activities. She also challenges herself with new experiences and takes risks as an educator. Her hunger to learn has taken her to trainings from Texas to the Grand Tetons, and she recently attended the District’s first ever Wonders of Soil workshop. After taking this workshop, she is now incorporating different soil types into her ancient civilizations social studies unit! The following is a list of opportunities that Amy provides to reinforce the classroom content and increase her students’ overall comprehension.
- She coordinates Burton Elementary’s 6th Grade Camp program to engage the students with outdoor science lessons during a week of school and has been a critical part of this for over two decades.
- She serves as S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) Club Advisor with over 50 fifth and sixth graders participating.
- She is also the Science Olympiad Advisor. They are in their fourth year of competing in this event at Case Western Reserve and so far she always brings back medalists!
- She coordinates “Science Night to Remember” at Burton Elementary, putting the student science projects on display, inviting special guests and community members to share exhibits and demos with students and parents, and honoring students’ efforts with awards.
- She utilizes Geauga SWCD and other community agencies to enhance her curriculum with programs including Soil Sleuth, Stream Team Detectives, and Nature Scopes to name a few.
- Amy is developing a Project Based Learning unit on Soil, hoping her students can work with local farmers & community members to create projects that improve soil quality.
- Congratulations to Amy for being chosen as the OFSWCD Ohio Teacher of the Year. Her efforts fostering environmental stewardship in elementary students is helping to shape their future and the future of Geauga County!
Pictured In Cover Photo: Amy Hochschild of Burton Elementary School was honored as the Ohio Conservation Elementary Teacher of the Year by the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (OFSWCD) in Columbus, Ohio. Nominated by Geauga SWCD, Amy (left) accepted her award at the Awards Luncheon and (right) poses for a photo with OFSWCD President-Elect Bob Short.