Lu Boren teaches earth science, chemistry, life science, and other subjects to students in grades 6, 7, and 8 at St. Columba School in Durango, Colorado.
Lu was first introduced to PLT at a fire ecology workshop soon after the large Missionary Ridge fire raged near Durango. She started using PLT with her classes and, when she saw how much her students benefited, never looked back. She uses environmental topics and PLT activities to wholly engage her students in their learning, for example through studies of forest management, fire ecology, and water quality, which has had a direct impact on students’ interest in science and environmental studies. Her enthusiasm and approach also inspires fellow educators to get students involved in environmental stewardship and service-learning projects.
Recognizing that the long distances from Durango to other parts of the state for PLT workshops prevent many teachers from getting involved, Lu became a Colorado PLT Facilitator in 2007. Now she conducts PLT workshops for teachers in her area. Her enthusiasm for and knowledge of PLT has made her the “point person” for other facilitators and teachers in southwestern Colorado.
Through her efforts, St. Columba became a PLT GreenSchool in 2011. She was honored as Outstanding PLT Educator in Colorado in 2009.
“Lu understands that students learn best through field experiences and hands-on activities. I am impressed with her students’ ability to think critically and discuss complex ecological issues.”
– Craig Goodell, fire ecologist at the San Juan Public Lands Center in Durango
Lu Boren was named a National PLT Outstanding Educator Honoree in 2010 and National PLT Outstanding Educator in 2012.