Hazel Scharosch is a classroom teacher in a one-room school house! Located in a ranching community, Red Creek Elementary School in Casper, Wyoming, has one multi-age classroom for all students. Hazel teaches all subject areas to the school’s kindergarten through sixth grade students, a range of 9-12 students in any given year. She has been teaching in this small rural school for 17 years.
Hazel was introduced to PLT 15 years ago at a four-day environmental education workshop hosted in part by two of the original developers of the PLT curriculum. The workshop forever changed her methods of teaching and deepened her commitment to expanding environmental literacy for all. Since then, Hazel has conducted numerous PLT workshops for both classroom teachers and non-formal educators, including Girl Scout leaders, child care providers, and 4-H club members. She has taught a three-day joint PLT, Project WET, and Project Wild workshop at least twice a year every year. She has correlated PLT activities to the Girl Scout Manuals and shown camp counselors how to integrate PLT with Girl Scout activities to enrich learning.
Hazel has played a critical role in delivering the PLT program to a wide range of educators across Wyoming for many years. She has recruited new facilitators, helping to almost double the number of trained PLT facilitators in Wyoming and expand PLT into other areas of the state. Hazel uses several outdoor study areas close to her school for hands-on studies and organizes a major environmental field trip for her whole class each year, including her students’ parents and siblings. Hazel is currently serving on Natrona County School District’s Science Adoption Committee, which has a goal of incorporating environmental education into a new science curriculum.
Hazel was named National PLT Outstanding Educator in 2007.