The Harris Center for Conservation Education in Hancock has announced its Educator Of The Year award. Claudia Dery of Peterborough, who teaches a combined 5th and 6th grade class at Wells Memorial School in Harrisville, was presented with the Educator Of The Year Award by Harris Center teacher and naturalist Jenna Spear O’Mara.
“I’ve always been passionate about the environment, but over the past few years I’ve realized I want this to be my legacy,” says Ms. Dery upon receiving the award.
Ms. Dery, who herself has worked at the Harris Center as an intern and a teacher naturalist for five years, continues to collaborate with the Center through her curriculum that includes lessons on pollinators on school grounds. In spring, she and her students built a bee habitat in the school yard complete with educational signage, and earlier this fall her class visited a local bee keeper. Currently the students are planting bulbs for the early pollinators next spring.
“Claudia truly embodies the values that we hold so dear here at the Harris Center,” Spear O’Mara said. “Her teaching instills a love of learning and respect for the outdoors in her students. Claudia has taken students to Pack Monadnock for hawk watching, to Jack’s Pond to learn outdoor survival skills, and to various ecology camps for days at a time. We are so thrilled to have Claudia as a collaborating teacher with the Harris Center, but even more we are overjoyed that she has been such a role model for her students in what it means to be a caring citizen of the planet.”
Claudia Dery is a very special teacher; her passion for education in unmistakable,” says Wells Memorial School Principal Kate Shanks, “she routinely collaborates with colleagues and local resources to differentiate instruction and to deliver instruction in a hands-on and engaging manner. Claudia works tirelessly to instill a love of learning and to help students to become environmentally conscious and compassionate global citizens.”
Claudia Dery (left) and Jenna Spear of the Harris Center for Conservation Education