Trevor Hance, Round Rock ISD
Trevor Hance has helped transform Laurel Mountain Elementary school into and Environmental Education wonderland! With its unique location and proximity to several acres of a Balcones Canyonlands Preserve, Trevor and the teachers of Laurel Mountain have embraced the opportunities to bring the classroom outside multiple times and days throughout the school week. Trevor has also worked with numerous private and public partners to expand the outdoor learning environments at the school. In addition to the school’s Preserve, there is a Grove filled with hammocks for reading, and a newly constructed outdoor learning classroom with solar panels and butterfly winged-shaped roof! With Trevor’s leadership, Laurel Mountain has set a shining example of how school campuses can utilize the outdoor environment as a living laboratory for students to explore, learn and grow through hands on experience in engaging with one another in the natural world. Hats off to Trevor for his remarkable Environmental Education efforts at Laurel Mountain Elementary.
John Ahrns is among a rarefied group of first-rate naturalists and served as the Preserve manager and lead educator from Westcave’s beginnings in 1976 until his retirement in 2010. John Ahrns began his work at the Preserve by hauling more than 100 full-size garbage bags of trash out of the Westcave canyon. Years later, when he had accomplished an astonishing restoration of our cave and grotto, John set out to build an environmental education program that now attracts more than 6,000 children each year. Previous winners include: City of Austin – Earth Camp, Danna Keyburn of Redeemer Lutheran School, David Matthews of Small Middle School, Johnny Wilson of St Stephen’s Episcopal School, William Earley of Laurel Mountain Elementary, and LCPL Nicholas S. Perez Elementary School.