NASHVILLE, TENN. – In recognition of her efforts to incorporate conservation and natural resource management in her classroom, Elizabeth Vaught, of Clarksville, Arkansas, received the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Educator of the Year Award.
“Being named the NWTF Educator of the Year ranks right up there with completing my first Grand Slam,” Vaught said. “If my classroom is an ecosystem, we are the healthiest ecosystem I’ve ever studied. I love being a part of something so big and so important. My students are my biggest cheerleaders and couldn’t be more excited to share in this award.”
Vaught accepted the award at the 46th annual NWTF Convention and Sport Show, sponsored by Mossy Oak.
Vaught is passionate about conservation and turkey hunting and is happy to share the educational opportunities each offers with her students. Her classroom is decorated with the fans and some of the wings from harvests past. Her classroom walls are adorned with the life cycle of the wild turkey and its habitat ranges. Vaught loves teaching about turkeys and turkey hunting, and she gets excited each time a student asks about her experiences.
When Vaught took over the agriculture program at Clarksville High School, she began teaching hunter education and boater education to all of her students. She also noticed a need to change her agriculture program to include other subjects such as natural resources, ecology, forestry and more.
Additionally, Vaught and her students developed the Clarksville FFA Stream Team, where they work closely with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission on ecology projects.
“Elizabeth is as passionate about education as she is about conservation and turkey hunting,” NWTF CEO Becky Humphries said. “We are honored to recognize her with the Educator of the Year Award for integrating conservation and ecology into her curriculum.”
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
When the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in 1973, there were about 1.3 million wild turkeys in North America. After decades of work, that number hit a historic high of almost 7 million turkeys. To succeed, the NWTF stood behind science-based conservation and hunters' rights. Today, the NWTF is focused on the future of hunting and conservation through its Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative. Since 2012, this 10-year initiative has already eclipsed goals of conserving or enhancing more than 4 million acres of essential wildlife habitat, recruiting or retaining more than 1.5 million hunters and opening access to more than 500,000 acres for hunting and other recreation opportunities. This critical work will continue to impact wildlife habitat and our great outdoors in the final year of the initiative.