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SOE Outstanding Educator Spreads Hands-On Approach to Environmental Education

Since 1994, the American Forest Foundation’s Project Learning Tree ® (PLT) has recognized outstanding educators for their commitment to environmental education and exceptional teaching skills. Regent University School of Education’s (SOE) Anne Mannarino is one of five educators in the United States to earn the award in 2016. This is the second time she has been honored as an outstanding educator by PLT.

Mannarino joined Regent in July 2015 through a math and science partnership grant from Virginia’s Department of Education to help improve science education in Virginia Beach and Norfolk. She serves as project director for the SWIRL (Standards Within Real World Learning) program.

“It’s a great honor,” said Mannarino. “I’ve always been interested in the environment. I was a science teacher and taught Advanced Placement environmental science. I’ve always been interested in environmental issues and educating the public on how we can sustain things within our environment. My goal is to tell people more about what resources are out there and what they can do, even if it’s just a little bit of something, to help the environment.”

At Regent, Mannarino teaches an online earth life science class for elementary teachers. She uses resources from PLT in her class to equip teachers to teach science with an inquiry-based, hands-on approach. PLT is known for its award-winning educational materials, and Mannarino is a facilitator for its curriculum program. She has much experience conducting workshops for teachers, going into classrooms, and helping them to do environmental, hands-on activities.

PLT will honor Mannarino at its 30th International Coordinators’ Conference May 23 in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was also honored as an Outstanding Educator in 2015.

Outside the classroom, Mannarino serves as a clean community commissioner in Virginia Beach. Through this role, she helps run Keep Virginia Beach Beautiful, gathers the litter index, works with Clean the Bay Day, and helps secure grants.