Ronda Malcolm has been named Conservation Teacher of the Year by Mountain Castles Soil and Water Conservation District (MCSWCD). Malcolm teaches eighth grade science and STEM at Read Mountain Middle School.
“Ronda has been a strong advocate for conservation education for students at Read Mountain and across the county,” said Tim Miller, education and outreach coordinator for MCSWCD. “Our initiative to get every Botetourt County seventh grader on the James River would not be happening without her.”
In addition to providing classroom activities related to sustainability and conservation, Malcolm has organized outdoor experiences for her students both on the school grounds and on field trips. She has worked with students on conservation landscaping projects at school and she regularly brings her students to Envirothon, an annual natural resources competition for middle and high school students.
Several years ago, Malcolm obtained School Board permission for a paddling field trip on the James River. That successful experience led to the launch of the “Every 7th Grader Paddles” initiative, organized by MCSWCD and funded through a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund.
“A key component of our education program is to facilitate meaningful outdoor experiences,” said Miller. “We know that’s not always easy for schools, so it’s fantastic when teachers like Ronda Malcolm make that happen.”