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Outdoor education teacher wins state-wide award

By From News Release
Oct. 9, 2010 at 5:09 a.m.

Outdoor Education Association award winner

The Texas Outdoor Education Association honored Jo Ann Winston, a veteran teacher at Trinity Episcopal School, with its highest honor at the annual state conference. Winston received the John Fortner Award, named after the association's first president, for outstanding contribution to and advocacy of outdoor education.

Winston runs the outdoor education program at Trinity, where all students in grade 4-8 participate in overnight outdoor activities with their classmates. Younger students in fourth grade go on a two-night trip to Goose Island and camp outdoors while older students may learn survival training on a three-night trip. Eighth grade students spend a week at Mo Ranch.

Whether rock climbing at Camp Allen with 10-year-olds or canoeing in the saltwater bayous of the Gulf Coast with middle-schoolers, Winston sees to the safety of students while promoting the advantages of learning outdoors. She has been involved with Trinity's outdoor education program since 1995.

"We've battled mosquitoes and hiked in the rain almost as often as we've had beautiful weather and conditions," she said. "It's all part of the learning process. Managing natural events like weather with safety as a top priority is just as important as other skills learned during the trips."

Winston has served in numerous offices within the state organization, including Texas Outdoor Education Association president in 2007-08. This is only the eighth time the award has been given to someone in the state of Texas.

In addition to her role as outdoor education coordinator, Winston is also the technology director and yearbook sponsor at Trinity Episcopal School.

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