Union Canal Elementary School

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Union Canal Elementary home page: http://www.clsd.k12.pa.us/uc/uc.html

Kathy Sattazahn received an award as the 1998 Conservation Educator of the Year from the Lebanon County Conservation District.  Her commitment to teaching children about the awesome responsibility we all share in protecting our environment is not only apparent in her teaching--it is demonstrated in her life!  She has been very dedicated in her efforts to organize many conservation and environmental programs at Union Canal Elementary School.

Kathy Sattazahn receiving her award from Commissioner Litz.

Kathy Sattazahn was instrumental in establishing a nature trail which is available for the entire elementary population.  The trail includes wildflowers, trees and shrubs with labels made by her students, bark mulch paths, and concrete stepping stones purchased with money earned by a class project.  Her 5th grade students used recycled paper   to design and make thumb print stationary and sold their product during parent conference days in the school lobby.  Examples of science lessons involved in the nature trail include classification of plants, animals, and environments and cycles and patterns in nature.  Kathy also integrated math and language art activities by having the students plan for their expenses and determine how much product they needed to sell in order to cover their costs--a real-life economics lesson.

Kathy also assisted Mrs. Alice Oskam in establishing a 50'x50' multi-theme garden (butterfly, Japanese, ABC, Little House on the Prairie, Secret,...) at Union Canal Elementary school.  Together they provided a living classroom for all of the students.  She volunteered many hours and helped coordinate work crews involving parents, businesses, students from the Career & Technology Center, elementary students, and teachers.

Not only is she generous with her time and commitment to making students aware of their environment, she has donated plants and trees to our school.  She made it possible for her classes to benefit from the environmental education of the ECO-VAN and impressed upon them the importance of reusing by giving canvass bags to students.

For many years, Kathy has provided guidance for our Envirothon teams.  She always volunteers to coordinate Earth Week activities.  Her classroom is noted for conservation projects including composting cafeteria food (complete with a bin full of red-wigglers!) inside, and building compost bins outside.  Kathy not only provides many opportunities to teach about conservation and the environment, she uses strategies and techniques to accommodate every student in her class.  There are activities for all levels of ability and all styles of learners.  You might pass her room and hear her guitar as she reinforces a theme through music.  Students have leadership opportunities by being teachers in the garden for younger students.

Kathy's strong commitment and enthusiasm for her projects also enable her to enlist the help of many community businesses and organizations such as the former head of the Hershey Gardens, Mr. CE Gerberich; Mr. Larry Gettler, concrete mason; Bowman's Tree Service; Boy Scouts; Dick Moore, former CCHS Ag teacher; commercial plant suppliers; Mr. Harlan Bross, a neighbor & farmer; and even family members.

Kathy serves as a constant reminder that we are all stewards of our natural resources and must teach our children that we share an awesome responsibility to protect the earth.   She has the respect and admiration of every teacher in our school for her commitment to teach children about doing their part to respect the environment.


Susan M Arnold, Teacher, Union Canal Elementary School

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