Hardee - Huntsville, Alabama
Linda Hardee, a teacher of Gifted students at Highlands Elementary School, is no stranger
to Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD). Ever since she
attended the second annual environmental education teach workshop in 2000, this
wonderful lady has been volunteering her time and talents to make sure every
workshop is a success.
It is not at all surprising that she has received enough awards and certificates of
appreciation to paper her classroom walls. The photo to the right shows
her accepting a certificate from Madison County SWCD Supervisor Jeannie Harvey in 2007.
has developed innovative ways to help teachers attending the workshops take home
the enthusiasm and knowledge they learned during the week. She brings her
own camera and laptop computer to the training sessions and follows the
attendees all week making pictures and notes about the activities and field
She transfers the photos into a PowerPoint presentation highlighting the success
of the current workshop, burns CDs for each
attending teacher, and delights each one with a copy before they leave the
workshop on Friday. Needless to say, she spends many hours of her own time
working during the evenings to create this little piece of
the event for the teachers to take home.
She is a tireless volunteer.
She comes in early every day to the workshop and stays late to ensure that the
classroom is ready for the teachers the next day. She also teaches several
of the segments of the workshop each year.
Linda is not only a great volunteer and teacher, she gets involved with her
student's education. Many of her pupils can't afford fees for field trips,
but she knows how important it is for students to have the same opportunities.
She helps seek
out grants that help pay the field trip fees, thus allowing some of her students
to see things that they may have only read about.
Once when Linda's students were were studying about "Veterans Day"
were inquisitive about what that meant, she took the initiative to give the
students a personal experience of what "Veteran's Day" was all about. She
contacted Kathy Walker, Madison County SWCD District Administrative Coordinator,
for a little help. Kathy was the President of the local Kiwanis
group at that time and she arranged for the Kiwanis group to take Linda's class to NASA.
There they saw transport planes, large enough for several
school buses to fit into, that flew the troops overseas. They climbed into helicopters
and visited the control tower. The students came away with an idea of some
things that a veterans may experience.
is a powerful force alone, but when she is paired with her husband, Gourm
Hardee, a retired policemen, they create a strong team.
Gourm is an avid hiker and historian. He has lead many hikes for the teacher
workshops. He does his homework before he conducts a hike. He searches out landmarks
and points of interest and shows them to the group. This gives the
teachers extra bits of information about the environment around them that they
can incorporate into their curriculum.
Both Linda and Gourm have been trained by Alabama Water Watch, a statewide
program dedicated to developing citizen volunteer monitoring of Alabama's lakes,
streams, and coasts.
Linda and Gourm realize how important environmental education is today.
They also know that many teachers do not have abundant resources for the
subject. This is one of the reasons the couple uses the majority of their summer
vacation taking new environmental classes and sharing the information with
Thank you to Linda and Gourm Hardee for being such wonderful Earth Team