Outdoor ed coach recognized as professional educator


Kirthi Gummadi

Texas Parks & Wildlife north Texas hunter education specialist, Monica Bickerstaff, presents outdoor education coach, Justin Koons, with the educator of the year of 2020 award. Koons has been teaching this class for seven years and strives to provide a fun and interesting physical education experience for his students.

Erika Pernis, Managing Editor

Texas Parks & Wildlife North Texas hunter education specialist, Monica Bickerstaff, presented outdoor education coach Justin Koons with the professional educator of the year award of 2020 for hunter education on Friday.

“Coach has taught multiple classes since becoming a volunteer hunter education instructor in 2014,” Bickerstaff said. “He’s impacted countless lives in presenting our hunter education program which is required by the state for those individuals who are nine years of age and older that want to hunt by themselves in the state of Texas.”

For Koons, the award highlights the amount of work he has been putting into the course, trying to give students a different type of physical education experience that is not offered everywhere.

“The award means a lot to me,” Koons said. “I have been teaching this class for the last seven years, and I have been putting my heart and soul into this and trying to be creative for all the kids to do some neat things they don’t normally get to do. It’s an honor to coach this class because not all Frisco ISD high schools have this class so it’s a great opportunity for these guys to explore something outside the realm of regular PE.”

Koons has been recognized for different types of criteria as an instructor. 

“Every year we recognize instructors within our regions,” Bickerstaff said. “So, we just basically looked at activity, number of students, and his enthusiasm and those are some of the criteria we follow in picking  or nominating.”