Hopkins High School science teacher John Sammler will receive the 2017 Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation District (MASWCD) Teacher Award. The award is given to one K-12 teacher each year who has created innovative conservation education activities for reaching students. Sammler will receive the award during the MASWCD Annual Convention, held in Bloomington on Dec. 4, 2017.
"John is what every student deserves in a teacher – focused on what's best for students, passionate about his content area, and always looking for ways to improve the learning experience," said Doug Bullinger, principal of Hopkins High School. "This award is a nod to what students at Hopkins High School have been experiencing for years. We're proud to say that he is a member of our staff."
In addition to teaching 10th-grade biology, environmental science, and Advanced Placement environmental science, Sammler also coaches the Hopkins Envirothon team. Envirothon is the largest and longest-running academic competition about the environment for students in the country. Since 2015, the Hopkins team has won the state competition twice, and has continuously been in the top five since the team started over eight years ago.
"I am honestly vey surprised and happy to have even been considered for the award," said Sammler. "I am excited that the state community of practicing professionals in environmental science find value in my educational contribution to that field. I am inspired to try harder and keep improving."
Sammler is also the advanced studies coordinator at Hopkins High School. Before teaching at Hopkins, Sammler earned a master's degree in wildlife conservation from the University of Minnesota. He has also taught at the University of Minnesota, Penn State University, and Dunwoody College of Technology.
MASWCD is a nonprofit organization which exists to provide leadership and a common voice for Minnesota's soil and water conservation districts and to maintain a positive, results-oriented relationship with rule making agencies, partners and legislators; expanding education opportunities for the districts so they may carry out effective conservation programs.