Cass named Warren County Conservation District’s Educator of the Year

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Heather Cass is the office manager at Tidioute Community Charter School (TCCS).  TCCS is very active in conservation through recycling, environmental education, and road and river clean ups.  All of the students participate in an annual conservation day to clean up and restore the community.

(Photo: Jean Gomory, Warren County Conservation District (right) presents the 2019 Conservation Educator of the Year award to Heather Cass of the Tidioute Community Charter School (center). Also pictured is Melissa Mahaney, also of the Tidioute Community Charter School (left).)

Heather is an avid gardener and passionate educator. She has designed two gardens at TCCS. One was created to help with erosion and create esthetic appeal to the area. It also provides teachers with an outdoor space to teach class. 

The second garden was created to honor a past teacher and create a visually pleasing entrance to the building and to help with water drainage in that area. The gardens where installed by the school PTO, of which Heather is the President.

If the school is awarded a Bring Back the Monarchs grant they applied for, Heather will help a teacher at TCCS plant a pollination garden. Together they will educate the students about the importance of pollination, water sources, and food. 

Lessons will continue in the fall and include butterfly chrysalis, the butterfly life cycle and butterfly migrations.  Students will also learn about butterfly and bat houses. Lessons will round out in the winter when the students will make suet-pinecone bird feeders. This project will be documented with photos and journaling which will be shared with the stakeholders of the grant. 

Heather is also a 4-H leader for the Sanford Saddle and Spurs.  Their group has traveled to Chincoteague Island to see the ponies and learned about the wetland and island by visiting the museum. The group has helped clean up the grounds of the school and the surrounding landscape and repair damages made to the landscape by winter weather.

Heather is also a member of the 4-H Development Council. She is on the Ways and Means Committee that raises money to support the 4-H and leadership programs.

In addition to acknowledging Heather Cass as the Warren County Conservation District’s 2019 Conservation Educator of the Year, the District would like to bring attention to three young volunteers who have been a tremendous help and welcome addition to our team for Children’s Nature Camp (CNC). Hanna Ruland, Myah Madril, and Joe Letko first came to the Warren County Conservation District’s summer camp program as young campers themselves.  We’ve watched them grow up through CNC (grades 1 – 6) into Youth Conservation Camp (YCC) (grades 7 – 9) and now they’ve come back to be Junior Camp Councilors (JCC) to our young CNC campers. 

These three responsible, kind, and fun-loving teenagers are tremendous role models for the kids to look up to.  Being Junior Camp Councilors, Hanna, Myah, and Joe were eager to pass on what they had learned, in their years of coming to camp, to the younger kids. 

They helped them with crafts, listened to their stories, and accompanied them on hikes, fishing, and ice breaker/team building games and were willing to get soaked during water games.

In 2019, all three of them began teaching lessons. They proved to be entertaining, knowledgeable, and were able to keep the kids engaged. We are proud to acknowledge Hanna, Myah, and Joe and we look forward to seeing what they contribute to the world in the future.