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December 17. 2013 10:26PM

Hillsborough district names its Teacher of Year

GREENFIELD — Greenfield Elementary School third grade teacher Rachel Lunan Hill has been named Teacher of the Year by the Hillsborough County Conservation District.

Hill was nominated by Greenfield Elementary School principal Noreen McAloon who said Tuesday she has been impressed with Hill who started and continues to run the school's compost pile with her third grade class. Hill and the third grade also run the school's recycling programs, McAloon said.

Hill also coordinates the school's multi-year theme of "Reverence of Place."

This year, each grade level in the K through fourth grade school is responsible for observing a particular tree on the school grounds and noting how it changes throughout the season.

"It's the idea of becoming observers of nature, or of their habitat and observing the beautiful nature that the school is set in," McAloon said.

Hill organized this project to include artist-in-residence David Fichter, who plans to takes the students drawings of their trees and use them to create a mosaic mural for permanent display at the school.

"Somewhere near the end of the year we will be having a grand opening, revealing of the mosaic," McAloon said.

McAloon nominated Hill because she fit with the Hillsborough County Conservation District's criteria for teacher of the year by contributing to the natural resources of the school and by teaching conservation and stewardship, she said.

Using her passion for nature, Hill is passing on lifelong skills to her students, McAloon said.

"She emphasizes their importance as citizens as part of the community to maintain that nature environment, and how to seek out ways to maintain it," she said.

The awards ceremony was held in Milford last week, but Hill was unable to attend because she is out on maternity leave, McAloon said. "The good news is she has a brand new baby girl."

mpierce@newstote.com


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