Add another name to the legendary voices from Wisconsin that have made the world a better place by speaking up for the environment.
On Thursday, local teacher Deb Weitzel will receive the nation’s first Bartlett Award to honor leadership in environmental education at a ceremony in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Like Aldo Leopold, Gaylord Nelson and John Muir, Weitzel has been an inspiration whose lasting influence goes far beyond her own passionate commitment to the natural world.
A long-time environmental studies and chemistry teacher at Middleton High School, Weitzel has a legion of former students and other fans who say she has thought globally, acted locally and taught countless hundreds of others to do the same.
Janet Kane, a former Middleton school board member and long-term supporter and board member of the Friends of Pheasant Branch nature conservancy, nominated Weitzel for the prestigious national award.
“It’s wonderful news that Deb has won the award and it really is a huge honor,” Kane said. “It’s also amazing that Deb is the first winner. She will set the standard for all those who follow.”