• Outstanding Educator
    Susan Snyder

    Susan Snyder Outstanding Educator
    Susan Snyder, Teacher-Naturalist, Ogden Nature Center, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Susan Snyder creates and leads programs for K-12 students in ecology, soil science, and other topics. She has developed popular programs about weather and nature journaling. In addition to developing and leading school field trips, she works with Scout groups, summer campers, and the general public. Among her many volunteer activities for PLT, she facilitates workshops for early childhood educators. Thanks to her efforts, teachers can receive Career-Ladder credit for participating.

    Susan holds a B.S. in Journalism/Communications from Ball State University and a M.S. in Ecological Teaching & Learning from Lesley University. She is a Utah Certified Environmental Educator. In 2011, she was honored as the Vern A. Fridley Utah Environmental Educator of the Year. Susan has created partnerships with organizations throughout the community.

    “Susan is ever the community builder, ever the altruist. If she teaches it, she does it.”

    – Jessie Kidd, School Director, GreenWood Charter School, Harrisville, Utah

    Susan was named National PLT Outstanding Educator in 2016.

  • Outstanding Educator
    Will Bollwerk

    Will Bollwerk Outstanding Educator
    Will Bollwerk, Master Teacher, Salt Lake Community Action Program, Head Start, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Will Bollwerk began with the Head Start program as an assistant teacher in 2008 and quickly advanced to his current position. He initiated and implemented a partnership between PLT and Salt Lake Head Start to introduce environmental education into all 84 Head Start preschool classrooms in the city that serve low-income families.

    He leads numerous professional development workshops for Salt Lake early childhood education specialists, mentor coaches, and special needs coordinators, and visits classrooms to assist new and sometimes struggling teachers. Over the past five years, he has facilitated more than 25 PLT workshops throughout the state, always tailored to the group he is training, with themes ranging from educating children outdoors safely to using the environment to teach STEM concepts.

    Will teaches at-risk children at The Road Home’s supportive housing development that helps people overcome homelessness. He enlisted the help of shelter residents and community members to turn an outdoor area into a working garden and uses PLT activities to introduce children to nature and create a new excitement for learning. He has implemented programs to recycle and reduce waste to increase children’s awareness and caring for the environment. In 2014, he was honored as the Utah Head Start Teacher of the Year.

    Will was named National PLT Outstanding Educator in 2015.

  • Outstanding Educator
    Kelly Gallo

    Kelly Gallo, Environmental Education Specialist, Soldier Hollow Charter School, Midway, Utah

    Kelly Gallo created a Green Council composed of students and parent volunteers that oversees the school’s recycling program and sponsors other environmental activities. She also received a PLT GreenWorks! grant to support students in the creation of a butterfly garden, and began a watershed festival that has turned into a community event. She also advises the school’s award-winning Envirothon teams. Previously a classroom teacher, Kelly now organizes citizen science projects and other activities for students in grades K-8, often using PLT resources. She also has developed resource documents for other charter schools in the state about how to integrate environmental education and place-based education into existing curricula.

    “Kelly’s unique teaching style helps students understand that they can solve complex environmental issues through the use of sound scientific principles as well as proper management.”

    – Lonny Reed, Former Board President, Soldier Hollow Charter School, Midway, Utah

    Kelly was named National PLT Outstanding Educator Honoree in 2014.