ICEC, with the co-sponsorship of the Iowa Soil Conservation Awards Program, is proud to have awarded Sue Sparrow Meggers and Louis Beck as this year’s Division I and II Conservation Teacher of the Year! This award is given annually to two classroom teachers who are creating awareness in their classrooms and beyond about the need to safeguard our soil and water.
The awards were presented during the Annual Conference for Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioners on July 17th.
The Division 1 Conservation Teacher of the Year is Sue Sparrow Meggers. Sue is an elementary teacher at Interstate 35 Community Schools. She was nominated by the Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District.
Sue believes that soil is the foundation of society, and its conservation is the cure to our lands’ ailments. As a teacher, she believes that hands-on engagement with real world tools is the key to understanding our natural resources. She inspires reverence of the soil and tells her students that “soil is the mother of all living things.” In 2010, Sue inspired and helped lead her students as they raised funds for a 3-acre prairie at their school, which the students continue to maintain and monitor. She led them in installing and maintaining a school garden and helped the students develop a vermicomposting program which was recognized by eCybermission, a national science competition. Sue is an inspiration to her students, and teaches them to appreciate soil as a unique and precious resource for both nature and people.
The Division 2 Conservation Teacher of the Year is Louis Beck. Louis is a middle and high school teacher at Union Community School. He was nominated by the Black Hawk County Soil and Water Conservation District.
As a middle and high school agriculture instructor, FFA chapter advisor, and a 3rd generation farmer, Louis exemplifies a strong soil and water conservation ethic. Louis and his wife, Pat, transitioned their 400-acre corn and soybean farm to no till in 2007 and have many conservation practices on their land including cover crops, grassed waterways, contouring, and terraces. Louis offers his extensive knowledge and passion for agriculture and conservation to his students at Union Community School and his members of the La Porte-Dysart FFA. Louis is always requesting information on current conservation research and innovative practice designs from the Black Hawk County Soil and Water Conservation District to use in his teaching. Black Hawk and Tama Counties are lucky to have such a great educator like Louis to help inspire students to become stewards of Iowa’s soil and water.
Congratulations to both of these wonderful teachers!