NACOGDOCHES, Texas — The Texas Forestry Association presented Dr. Leah Kahn, an associate professor of education studies at Stephen F. Austin State University, with the 2022 Project Learning Tree Outstanding Educator Award during its annual meeting held in College Station in October.
“This award means a great deal to me,” Kahn said. “During my years at SFA, Project Learning Tree has played an integral role in the preparation of my SFA teacher candidates. They have had the opportunity to conduct PLT activities with fourth and fifth grade students from local school districts at events held here on the SFA campus. This hopefully will encourage them to get their own future students outside to learn!”
In 2012, Kahn’s middle level science methods students were involved with planning and participating in the Wild About Science event held on the SFA campus at the Piney Woods Native Plant Center. Her students were also trained in PLT activities, and they ran stations where they conducted the activities with fourth and fifth grade students from local schools at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens.
“Dr. Kahn currently teaches courses in middle level education and science methods at SFA, but her connection with Project Learning Tree began in 2012,” said Chris Adams, chair of the TFA Outreach and Education Committee. “Little did we know what an incredible legacy was beginning at that time.”
Kahn also continued the work Dr. Alan Sowards began 25 years ago with SFA Gardens’ Bugs, Butterflies, Bees and Blossoms event by preparing her students to present PLT stations for kindergarten through second grade students from surrounding school districts. Sowards is an SFA professor emeritus of education studies and currently serves as environmental education program director with SFA Gardens.
Kahn taught middle level science for 25 years in Texas and New York. In addition to teaching at SFA, she supervises middle level certification students in their field experiences. She earned a Bachelor of Science in elementary education in 1985 and a Master of Education in secondary education in 1989, both from SFA. She also earned her Doctor of Education with an emphasis in educational leadership from Lamar University in Beaumont and earned the Project Learning Tree Facilitator Certification in 2018.
“Her help on spreading the word on the unique collaboration between PLT and SFA at several different educational conferences over the years has proved to be an invaluable outreach effort,” said Adams. “We are honored to present this award to Kahn for her passion for forestry and education, which is clearly evident in everything she does.”
Kahn will be retiring from SFA in December 2022 and plans to continue volunteering for PLT events in the future.
The Texas Forestry Association promotes an economic, social and political climate that will advance forestry in Texas through education, political action and public relations, as well as serve the broad needs of the forest resource of landowners, producers and consumers, and enhance and perpetuate the Texas forest resource.
Cutline: The Texas Forestry Association presented Dr. Leah Kahn, an associate professor of education studies at Stephen F. Austin State University, with the 2022 Project Learning Tree Outstanding Educator Award during its annual meeting held in College Station in October.