Idaho Teacher Honored as Educator of the Year in Wildlife Forever Fish Art Contest

Posted Wednesday June 02, 2021 by wf_admin

White Bear Lake, MN-   Wildlife Forever and Title Sponsor Bass Pro Shops are proud to announce that Amanda DiLenge, a 5th grade teacher at Theresa Bunker Elementary School in Idaho Falls, has been selected as the 2021 Richard M. Hart Educator of the Year. By participating in the Fish Art Contest, educators connect young people to the outdoors and help inspire the next generation of stewards.
“Thank you for this wonderful award. I am honored to have been chosen. I feel extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to teach children to love the world around them. Today’s youth are tomorrow’s environmental ambassadors, leaders, and heroes,” remarked award winner, Amanda DiLenge.
The Richard M. Hart Educator of the Year Award was created to honor an exemplary educator committed to introducing youth to nature and the joys of fishing. This award honors the life and legacy of Richard M. Hart, a successful business and family man who had a passion for fishing and conservation. Mr. Hart strongly believed that educators are the key to encourage and inspire youth conservation education. Richard also worked extensively to promote the Texas Fish Art Contest, hosted by the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center.

“Sharing his passion for fish and fishing, Dick Hart was a mentor to young and old. Recognizing educators as the key he developed aquatic stewardship in others. This award honors his legacy” said Doug Grann, Grann/Hollingsworth Family Trust.
This year, 16 talented educators were nominated for this prestigious award. Judges were deeply moved by Mrs. DiLenge’s obvious commitment to teaching her students about conservation in and out of the classroom. One nomination read as follows: “Mrs. DiLenge has a love of fishing, nature, and all things wildlife. Using her platform as a teacher she has been able to help future generations gain knowledge that will allow them to better our Earth and it’s systems.”

“Teachers are the backbone that connect America’s youth to conservation. Amanda is a champion for getting her students engaged and learning life skills about nature,” said Pat Conzemius, President & CEO of Wildlife Forever.

Mrs. DiLenge will be receiving a $1000 gift card to purchase classroom supplies and her school shall receive a $900 stipend to facilitate outdoor learning for their students.

Special recognition also goes to the Hart Family, Friends of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, Grann/Hollingsworth Trust, and Alton Jones for their support of this important scholarship.
View all the award winners at

About the Fish Art Contest: The award-winning Wildlife Forever Fish Art™ Contest, with support from Title Sponsor Bass Pro Shops, the USDA Forest Service and Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, brings children, art and aquatic conservation together! The annual contest reaches thousands of youth each year. New distance learning resources allow students to participate from home or classroom and complement a wide array of educational programming. To enter, young artists create an original illustration of any fish from the Official Fish list and written words detailing its habitat, and efforts to conserve it. Entries are categorized in four grade levels: K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. Educators nationwide utilize Fish On!, the full-color Fish Art Lesson Plan, integrating the disciplines of science and art. Entries are due postmarked or emailed by March 31st each year.

About Wildlife Forever: Our mission is to conserve America’s wildlife heritage through conservation education, preservation of habitat and management of fish and wildlife. Wildlife Forever is a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to investing resources on the ground. Recent audits reveal that 94% of every dollar supports our award-winning conservation programs. Please, Join Today and learn more about the Fish Art Contest®, Clean Drain Dry Initiative™ and Prairie City USA® at

About Bass Pro Shops®: Bass Pro Shops is North America’s premier outdoor and conservation company.  Founded in 1972 when avid young angler Johnny Morris began selling tackle out of his father’s liquor store in Springfield, Missouri, today the company provides customers with unmatched offerings spanning premier destination retail, outdoor equipment manufacturing, world-class resort destinations and more. In 2017 Bass Pro Shops acquired Cabela’s to create a “best-of-the-best” experience with superior products, dynamic locations and outstanding customer service. Bass Pro Shops also operates White River Marine Group, offering an unsurpassed collection of industry-leading boat brands, and Big Cedar Lodge, America’s Premier Wilderness Resort. Under the visionary conservation leadership of Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops is a national leader in protecting habitat and introducing families to the outdoors and has been named by Forbes as “one of America’s Best Employers.”

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