DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Five Rivers MetroParks is accepting nominations for outstanding teachers, with a focus on those who make nature their classroom.

The seventh annual OUTStanding Teacher Awards are open to Dayton-area classroom educators who teach any subject from pre-K through high school, a release said.

A winner will be selected from each of the following categories:

  • Rising Star (less than 10 years of teaching experience)
  • Leader (10 to 20 years of teaching experience)
  • Lifetime Achievement (more than 20 years of teaching experience)

Winners will be announced this spring and will each receive an award package containing:

  • Outdoor educational materials to assist in connecting students to the environment
  • Plant kit with plants selected for the winning teacher’s school
  • Environmental Education Council of Ohio membership and money to use toward the 101 Conference at Camp Kern, held annually the first weekend of October
  • 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 (or an alternative experience if an in-person field trip is not an option)

You can nominate a teacher by writing a short essay or producing a short video that answers these questions. Teachers can also self-nominate.

Nominations can be submitted by completing an online form and either posting a video to YouTube or uploading the written essay. Information on judging criteria can be found online here.

Community volunteers with a background in outdoor education will be judging the awards, the release states.

Nominations for the contest are due Jan 31, 2023.