2021 Educator of the Year

Educators, teachers and parents have long been the hand that guides students to enter the Wildlife Forever STATE-FISH ART Contest. Through their understanding of the value in teaching about our natural resources and encouraging artistic expression, youth are becoming stewards of our land and waters.

Educator of the Year

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 FishArt.org