White Bear Lake, MN – Wildlife Forever and Title Sponsor Bass Pro Shops are thrilled to announce the winner of the 2022 Richard M Hart Educator of the Year Award. Congratulations to Sara Wilder, a K-8 visual arts teacher from Ellsinore, Missouri.
Wilder originally participated with the Art of Conservation Fish Art Contest as a student in 2002. Inspired by her passion for the outdoors, Sara has used the Fish Art Program since 2017 to connect hundreds of students to the joys of fishing, creating a new generation of environmental stewards.
“I would like to thank Wildlife Forever for the opportunities and educational programs they have to offer educators and students. When I was a student, I participated in the Fish Art Contests for Missouri and loved every minute of it. I loved learning about my chosen fish and its ecosystem and trying to find it in the wild. I’m absolutely delighted and honored that I can pass on conservation mindfulness to future generations through The Missouri Fish Art Contest. Nature and wildlife have always been a passion for me, and I love being able to share my love for all things wild with my students,” said Wilder.
The Richard M Hart Educator of the Year Award was created to honor the legacy of Mr. Hart, who had a passion for fishing and conservation. He strongly believed in the power of educators to inspire stewardship in youth. He and Johnny Morris founded the Hart/Morris Education Center in Athens, Texas at the TPWD Freshwater Fisheries Center. The award is given annually to an exemplary educator who is committed to conservation education.
30 educators were nominated for this award in 2022. Wilder’s participation as a Fish Art student and now educator, and her dedication to environmental education won the judges nomination. Wilder will receive a $1000 gift card to purchase classroom supplies and a $900 stipend to facilitate outdoor learning, as well as a limited-edition Fish Art print and merchandise from Wildlife Forever.
Special thanks to the Hart Family, Friends of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, and the Grann/Hollingsworth Trust for supporting this award.