This year’s recipient for the NH Environmental Educator of the Year for the Elementary School level is Carol Foley. Carol’s may be a familiar face because she likely holds the record for attending more environmental education conferences and workshops than anyone else in New England.
Though Carol currently works as the Special Education and Math Coordinator and Coach at the Ellis School in Fremont, she has held many positions during her career. She has worked directly with children as well as with other educators. Recently she led teachers in grades 1-6 through a 15-month professional development process to vertically align her district’s science curriculum and match it with the NH Science Frameworks. This enabled science to be taught regularly in each grade level, something not previously done. At other schools Carol has breathed new life into science curriculum with many interactive activities that stretch beyond the typical lessons. Her classrooms were often home to snakes, frogs, turtles, rodents and birds, all of which became part of her teaching team as her students saw their biology lessons come alive.
Carol’s passion for learning and sharing is illustrated by the fact that she is a facilitator for PLT (1998), WILD (1988), and WET (1999). She has helped bring these EE tools to hundreds of other classroom teachers around NH. She has conducted many other workshops for NH Audubon, NHSTA, Squam Lakes Natural Science Center and others.
Carol also reaches beyond the classroom through work in non-formal settings. By bridging these two sectors she has enriched both areas. She has served on the NHEE board providing insight into school needs and issues. At various jobs, Carol has shared her skills with organizations including NH Audubon, Amoskeag Fishways, Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, the SEE Science Center Museum, White Mountain National Forest, McAuliffe Planetarium, Montshire Museum, Boston Museum of Science, and the Swift Water Girl Scout Council.
Carol is receiving this award not because of one specific project, event or talent, but because of her continued dedication to engaging students in environmental studies, her breadth of experience with methods and audiences, her unending interest in gaining and sharing new skills, and her commitment to connecting people with the natural world. It is with great pleasure that I present this award to Carol Foley.