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Dallas Teacher Named Wildlife Forever Educator of the Year

Larry Hodge, 903-676-2277, larry.hodge@tpwd.texas.gov

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ATHENS—Jennifer Brooks of Kerens has been named Wildlife Forever’s State-Fish Art 2015 Educator of the Year. A pre-kindergarten through grade 5 art specialist at Felix G. Botello Elementary in Dallas, Texas, she is being recognized for her significant contribution to youth conservation education. She receives a $500 gift card for classroom art supplies from the award’s sponsor, Triarco Arts & Crafts.

Brooks will be honored at the 17th annual State-Fish Art EXPO on August 22 along with winning young artists from across America. This year’s EXPO is hosted by title sponsor FLW at the FLW CUP in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

"One of the aspects I love most about the State Fish Art Contest is making the connection between art and enjoying the outdoors while helping to take care of our natural resources," said Brooks. "For my family, hunting and fishing is just a natural part of our lives. Many of my students have never gone fishing or even seen a real fish, so the State-Fish Art Contest is an opportunity to not only introduce them to fishing, but maybe, just maybe, get them ’hooked’! "

"Jennifer was nominated by Zoe Ann Stinchcomb, education director at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center and the Texas State-Fish Art Contest coordinator," said Karen R. Hollingsworth, manager, State-Fish Art. "Jennifer has gone above and beyond each year by getting the entire student body of her school, whenever possible, to participate in State-Fish Art. She and her daughter Raygan also volunteer in the State-Fish Art tent during the Toyota Texas Bass Classic. They encourage, teach and facilitate kids painting fish on large canvases representing underwater scenes."

Brooks joins past winners of the Educator of the Year Award Scott Cummings, 2014, from Indiana; Ashley Berdeau, 2013, from North Carolina; Dr. Helen Loughner, 2012, from Pennsylvania; Lila Jenkins, 2011, from Missouri; Michelle Daberkow, 2010, from Nebraska; Dawn Cook, 2009, from Arkansas and Zoe Ann Stinchcomb, 2008, from Texas.

The State-Fish Art Contest is made possible by support from its title sponsor FLW along with the U.S. Forest Service, Triarco Arts & Crafts, North American Fishing Club, Rapala, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Go Fish Georgia Education Center, Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and Foundation, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, USFWS Division of Fish and Aquatic Conservation Region 7 and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

On the Net:

www.tpwd.texas.gov/fishart