Nominations Open for 2020 GA PLT Outstanding Educator of the Year

Each year Georgia Project Learning Tree (PLT) recognizes an educator in the field who uses the PLT curriculum with students, teachers, and their communities. PLT has formally recognized the efforts of outstanding educators for their commitment to environmental education, their exemplary use of PLT, and their exceptional teaching skills. Their diverse experiences illustrate how PLT can be used effectively with all age groups from pre-schoolers through university students, across all subjects, indoors and outdoors.

In 2019, Georgia PLT recognized Gregory Vaughn as the Educator of the Year. Gregory is a 4th-grade teacher at JL Lomax Elementary School and was first trained in PLT at the 2016 Georgia Teacher Conservation Workshop. According to Tony Burgman, Assistant Principle of JL Lomax Elementary School, “He is one of the most dedicated teachers I have seen in my 20 years of education. His perseverance and focus to change the lives of his scholars one lesson at a time is second to none. He not only pushes himself, but he is always seeking out the best in each child he teaches.” Georgia PLT is honored to have had the opportunity to recognize Gregory for his exemplary service to his students and the implementation of PLT. 

Melanie Biersmith was recognized as the 2019 Outstanding Facilitator of the Year. Melanie has been facilitating workshops since 2014. She is actively engaged in providing annual PLT training to Georgia 4-H environmental education staff as well as serving on the Georgia PLT State Steering Committee and the Georgia Teacher Conservation Workshop committee. Melanie serves as the Associate State 4-H Leader. Georgia PLT is only successful due to the service and dedication of our wonderful facilitators.

Do you know someone who is an exemplary educator that uses PLT with their students to encourage engaging, hands-on learning experiences? Nominate him/her for GA PLTs Outstanding Educator of the Year Award.

You can download the form and email it to Chelsea York at Or complete the online nomination form.