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Heacock Receives Outdoor Educator of the Year Award

Release Date: 2/22/2013 10:42:54 AM

Steve Heacock, Supervisor of Outdoor School for Carroll County Public Schools, has received the Robert Finton Outdoor Educator of the Year Award presented by the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education. This award recognizes an individual who demonstrates leadership and innovation in environmental and outdoor education. The award is given each year to reward the efforts of an individual who strives for enthusiasm, innovation, and excellence in the field of environmental education.
Heacock has spent his entire career in Carroll County in outdoor education. Under his leadership, Outdoor School has become a rigorous cornerstone of the middle school science program, as well as a fun and rewarding experience for students. Among his many accomplishments is the development of the Environmental Issue Investigation model of instruction, which encourages students to take an active role in their own education by engaging in inquiry-based science and real-life problem solving.
Heacock has been instrumental in creating and providing the resources necessary for all students in the school system to become engaged in the environment. An environmental issue unit is now taught at each grade level from kindergarten through fifth grade. He also designed the Wild School Grounds Workshop, a professional development opportunity that helps teachers learn how to use the environment to teach important skills such as reading and math. In addition, Heacock maintains a native plant nursery and makes stock available for many school projects, such as rain gardens and school ground reforestations.
When accepting the award, Heacock said, “Vision is often stated as a critical component for successful leadership, but vision is just an idea. I work with great people and they are the ones who blow life into that idea every single day.”
This is the second time that a Carroll County outdoor educator has received this award. Outdoor School teacher Mary Hoy was honored with the award in 2007.

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