MERRILL - A member of the Merrill School Forest Program received special recognition on Friday. Director Russell Noland earned a LEAF award from Wisconsin's School Forest Program.
Students, parents, and other community members came together to witness the award presentation.
The award honors people that excel in leading learning experiences and activities in forestry.
"Russ has just done a really, really good job of that with the new programs that he's implemented and the connections he's made and the experiences the students have had at the forest," said Wisconsin School Forest Program Coordinator Gretchen Marshall.
Fellow teachers and students spoke about Noland's impact on Merrill's school forest program.
"Once students leave you're not sure what they got out of it. It's just kind of nice to sit back and hear the words that they thought of talking about their experiences with the visits here at the forest," said Noland.
Noland said that he wouldn't be able to achieve all that he has without the support from the administration.
"When people talk about dream jobs and doing what they love, I can truly say this is where I've wanted to be, this is where I need to be. I'm a better teacher in the forest than I am in a classroom," said Noland.
The LEAF awards are given out every year.