Lisa Saunders

BiCentennial Elementary School

Lisa known as  “Water Woman” at Nashua’s Bicentennial School, is the 2011 NH Environmental Educator of the Year for the Elementary Category.  Lisa focuses on student understanding and inquiry as she teaches her 5th graders about water systems, cycles, and conservation.  She engages parents and the community, getting entire families excited and Saunders, involved in environmental endeavors. 

Lisa connects her students with environmental professionals including fish biologists and hatchery workers, a scientist in residence program, and watershed protection volunteers.  Her students participate in engaging field trips to a fish hatchery, wastewater treatment plant, and a canoe trip down the Nashua River where they conduct aquatic insect investigations and water quality testing.  With the help of the mascot Polly the Pickerel, Lisa illustrated how water flows through the neighborhood and how actions of individuals can affect their drinking water.  Similar in-depth studies touch on other environmental topics.

Lisa’s work is not just in teaching students, but in designing strong educational practices. Working with Project Learning Tree’s Connecting Schools to People and Places, Understanding by Design and other innovative methods, Lisa has worked with a team from her district to discuss, develop and implement best practices for science education within the district.   As a result, their NECAP science proficiency scores have risen from 54% to 70% in the past three years.

Lisa’s love and commitment to science and the environment resonates in her personal life and makes her teaching genuine and realistic.  NHEE joins her students, parents and colleagues in recognizing her dedication to environmental education.