Chanda Cooper, Education Coordinator, Richmond Soil and Water Conservation District, Columbia, South Carolina
Chanda frequently uses PLT activities to teach more than 2,000 K–12 students and more than 300 environmental educators each year about the importance of natural resource conservation. Chanda has put her strong leadership skills to use by hosting and co-facilitating 10 PLT workshops to train educators to use the PLT PreK-8 Guide and the Early Childhood Guide, and PLT’s high school modules Focus on Forests and Southeastern Forests and Climate Change. She became a PLT facilitator in 2013 and joined the state PLT steering committee later that year. In 2015 she was elected vice-chair, and in 2018, chair of the committee. She has also served on the board of the Environmental Education Association of South Carolina since 2013 and is currently its vice president. Chanda has coordinated countless networking and professional development opportunities for teachers and informal educators, such as meetups, workshops, and conferences on a variety of environmental topics.
“Much like the impact Chanda Cooper has had on my students, I am constantly revived and rejuvenated when I have the opportunity to share a space with her.”
Jennifer Strickland-Poole, Clinical Instructor, University of South Carolina
Chanda was named National PLT Outstanding Educator Honoree in 2017 and National PLT Leadership in Education Award Honoree in 2018.