Patricia Lewis, Roosevelt Elementary
Second grade teacher Patricia Lewis started her teaching career in 2014, where she quickly recognized that there was a lack of fresh, affordable produce in the school. She planted a school produce garden with help from a Dayton Public Schools Foundation grant.
Leader (10 to 20 years teaching experience)
Beth Allaire, Bishop Leibold
In addition to teaching her students about soil ecology, animals and how to identify plants, junior high teacher and STEM Coordinator, Beth Allaire, focuses on nature education. During the pandemic, Allaire started a new student-led initiative called “The Green Team,” which led to students creating an outdoor vegetable garden among other projects.
Lifetime Achievement (20 plus years teaching experience)
Mary Beth Young, Brookville Elementary
Elementary school librarian Mary Beth Young helps students cultivate an appreciation and exploration of ecological concepts and themes. Young has curated a book collection as a source for learning Earth science and appreciation. She covers a variety of nature-based topics with students, such as habitats, animals, plants and sustainability.
The recipients received an awards package including outdoor educational materials to assist in connecting students to the environment, a plant kit with plants selected for the winning teacher’s school, and a one-year membership to the James M. Cox, Jr. Arboretum Foundation and transportation for their class for a field trip to Cox Arboretum MetroPark.
For more information, visit metroparks.org/outstanding.