2019 Regional Boating Educators of the Year Announced

By Taylor Matsko posted 25 days ago

  

2019 Regional Boating Educators of the Year Announced

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 29, 2019) – The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) is pleased to announce the regional winners of the Boating Educator of the Year Award. Generously sponsored by Fresh Air Educators, and Kalkomey Enterprises, Inc., the Boating Educator of the Year Award was launched by NASBLA in 2011 to recognize those who go above to engage students and boaters, raise awareness, and make boating education initiatives relevant, thorough and exciting.

As a member of NASBLA, every state and territory is eligible to nominate their state‐level boating educator of the year to be considered for the regional and national Educator of the Year Award. The regional winners are invited to receive their awards at the NASBLA annual conference. The 2019 NASBLA Annual Conference will take place in Anchorage, Alaska, Sept. 29 ‐ Oct. 2. The awards banquet will take place Tuesday, Oct. 1.

Thomas & Elizabeth ScottThe Northern Region Educator of the Year award recipients are Thomas and Elizabeth Scott of the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection. Thomas (“Tom”) and Elizabeth (“Betty”) Scott began their journey as safe boating instructors in 2002 so that they could help their Boy Scout troop obtain a powerboating merit badge. For the last 17 years, they have worked as a team conducting Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) safe boating courses and public outreach. Together, they have provided over 300 hours of knowledgeable safe boating instruction to Connecticut boaters as well as countless volunteer hours at volunteer events. After providing the necessary training to their Boy Scout troop in 2002, the Scotts wanted to expand their skills with the Boating Division. They were able to continue working as safe boating instructors for the town of Ledyard's Parks and Recreation Department. Find out more about Thomas and Elizabeth’s work as educators in the boating community.
Dana GageDana Gage, of The LV Project, has been named the Southern Region Educator of the Year for 2019. In the aftermath of her son’s preventable and tragic death by drowning, Dana Gage made it her mission to change the way people think about water safety. Gage, using her professional media experience, founded The LV Project. The LV Project relentlessly pursues the idea that all people can LiVe and LoVe buoyantly - on water, and in life. Through their water buoyancy projects, The LV Project raises awareness for drowning prevention and specifically advocates for use of life jackets on lakes. Gage has developed a media powerhouse of electronic information and education for life jacket awareness. The LV Project completes service projects and supports organizations that give people who are in need a lift in life. Overall, Gage’s creative mind coupled with her unwavering passion for the cause and her heart for educating, informing and saving the lives of all people who spend their time around water is second to none. Learn more about Dana Gage and The LV Project in the full press release.
Lt. Jesse GehrtThe Western Region Educator of the Year award recipient is Lieutenant Jesse Gehrt of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT). For several years, Gehrt’s assigned duty area included Milford Reservoir, which is bordered by Fort Riley. Milford Reservoir recorded the highest annual number of boating incidents in the state and between one and three fatalities per year. This high rate of incidents has been partly attributed to the fact that Fort Riley ran its own marina at the base where soldiers were renting vessels without any boating experience or education. These soldiers frequently used alcohol on their outings, until Lt. Gehrt began to address the situation. Lt. Gehrt focused in on addressing this situation through partnerships with the Fort Riley marina staff. With the help of his state Boating Law Administrator and Boating Education Coordinator, Lt. Gehrt successfully developed boating safety programs throughout his district. This initiative later evolved into educational requirements for soldiers to rent vessels from the base marina, yearly safety presentations to base personnel, and the inclusion of boating safety programs into the schools that the officers' family members attend. Gehrt’s diligence and focus on this matter has reduced the reservoir’s fatality rate from one to three per year to a total of three over the last 12 years. Read more about Lt. Gehrt’s achievements throughout his career.

For more information on the Educator of the Year Award, please visit www.nasbla.org/awards.

Generously sponsored by Fresh Air Educators, and Kalkomey Enterprises, Inc., the Boating Educator of the Year Award was launched by NASBLA in 2011 to recognize those who go above to engage students and boaters, raise awareness, and make boating education initiatives relevant, thorough and exciting.

The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators is a national nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety. NASBLA represents the recreational boating authorities of all 50 states and the U.S. territories. We offer a variety of resources, including training, model acts, education standards, publications and more. Through a national network of thousands of professional educators, law enforcement officers and volunteers, we affect the lives of over 76 million American boaters.

 

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