Texas Educator Named 2024 Richard Hart Educator of the Year

For Immediate Release

Contact: Addison Motta AMotta@WildifeForever.org

White Bear Lake, MN – Wildlife Forever is proud to name Ms. Ramona Michael of Kingwood, TX as the 2024 Richard M Hart Educator of the Year. Ms. Michael introduced the Fish Art program and free lesson plans to over 700 students. Her commitment to connecting children with nature and conservation inspired the Educator of the Year judges.

The Richard Hart Educator of the Year Award was created to honor the legacy of Dick Hart, who aspired to teach the joys of fishing and was the driving force behind the Hart-Morris Education Center in Athens, Texas at the TPWD Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center.

“Mr. Hart’s legacy shows us that we can inspire the future stewards through education and hands-on outdoor experiences, and that art is a wonderful tool for students to discover their place in nature,” said Tom Lang, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s TPWD Director of Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center.

“We are proud to support the Richard M Hart Educator of the Year Award. Dick was a dear friend and through his legacy, we’re inspiring future anglers and honoring educators like Ms. Michael who integrate this program into the classroom,” said Karen Hollingsworth of the Grann Hollingsworth Trust.

Mr. Hart had a passion for fishing and conservation and believed strongly in the ability of educators to inspire stewardship in youth. The Educator of the Year Award is given annually to an exemplary educator who participates in the Fish Art Contest and shows a dedication to conservation education.

“In Texas, everyone fishes! The Fish Art program has proven to be a powerful tool to connect students to fishing and a sense of discovery for the outdoors. Thank you for this recognition,” said Michael. She will receive fishing and art supplies for her classroom, as well as a limited-edition 2024 Fish Art Best of Show print.

“We are lucky enough to have hundreds of amazing educators engage youth in conservation through the Fish Art Contest each year. Ms. Michael stood out as an individual who embodies the passion, dedication, and love for the outdoors that this award seeks to honor,” said Addison Motta, Education and Communications Manager for Wildlife Forever.

Special thanks to the Grann/Hollingsworth Trust for supporting this award.

Visit the Art of Conservation website or learn more about the Art of Conservation Fish Art Contest:

Fish Art Contest National Winners Announced

Fish Art Contest State Winners Announced

Wildlife Forever Announces FishOn! Lesson Plans