NASBLA names the 2022 Regional Boating Educators of the Year
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 19, 2022) – The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) is pleased to announce the regional winners of the 2022 Pamela S. Dillon Boating Educator of the Year Award. Generously sponsored by Kalkomey Enterprises, Inc., the Boating Educator of the Year Award was launched by NASBLA in 2011 to recognize those who go above and beyond to engage students and boaters, raise awareness, and make boating education initiatives relevant, thorough and exciting.
As a member of NASBLA, every state and territory is eligible to nominate their state‐level boating educator of the year to be considered for the regional and national Boating Educator of the Year award. The regional winners are invited to receive their awards at the 62nd Annual NASBLA Conference. The 2022 NASBLA Annual Conference will take place in Manchester, New Hampshire, Sept. 27 ‐ 30. The awards banquet will be held on Thursday, Sept. 29.
Lieutenant John Girvalakis, of the Massachusetts Environmental Police, has been named the 2022 Northern Region Educator of the Year. Lt. Girvalakis has provided continual outreach and education to the recreational boating public in his role as the lead instructor for the Boat Safety Bureau of the Massachusetts Environmental Police (MEP). As the bureau lieutenant, Girvalakis has been successful in providing recreational boating safety (RBS) instruction to all incoming MEP officers while he maintains regular Bureau missions. As COVID-19 significantly impacted MEP presence in the classroom and the opportunity for in-person interactions, Lt. Girvalakis worked diligently with NASBLA Education Director Mark Chanski to fill the void by providing virtual boating education courses. Lt. Girvalakis maintains a very active presence in the delivery of the Massachusetts boating safety curriculum to the public and has provided classes annually since his induction to the MEP as an officer. Read more about Lieutenant Girvalakis’ achievements throughout his career.
Trooper Tyler W. O'Brien, of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, has been named the Southern Region Educator of the Year for 2022. Trooper O'Brien is a Marine Enforcement Trooper working in Troop F, Zone 19. He is one of three members of Zone 19, which covers 10 counties, in Central Missouri. Trooper O'Brien has become a standout in water safety education within his Zone, Troop, and State. Whether he is working enforcement during Missouri's primary boating season, teaching the boater education course in the off-season, or teaching other law enforcement agencies, Trooper O'Brien's focus is constantly educating the public. During the 2021 boating season, Trooper O'Brien's efforts brought him into contact with a significant number of boaters. Regardless of the activity, Trooper O'Brien always takes the extra time to ensure he educates the boating public. He hands out small educational handbooks after nearly every contact with boaters, which he uses to show them where they can find information about the law they violated. Find out more about Trooper O'Brien’s accomplishments.
Kim Jackson, of the Arizona Game and Fish Department, has been named the 2022 Western Region Educator of the Year. Kim Jackson is an innovative and dedicated Boating Safety Education Manager with the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD). She tirelessly works with partner agencies and the public to promote life jacket wear, and significantly contributes to making boating and paddlesports safer for everyone. Jackson has developed partnerships throughout Arizona that have been instrumental in furthering the safety of the recreational boating community within the state. Jackson and her team have installed 20 life jacket loaner stations, with 16 stations proposed for future installation. Additionally, Jackson serves on local and national committees regularly. She is the 2021-2022 NASBLA Paddlesports Committee Chair, a member of the NASBLA Education and Outreach Committee, participates in the Colorado River Law Enforcement Association Conference, is a board member for the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona, and is called on regularly by partners and other state agencies for her extensive boating safety knowledge and expertise. Learn more about Kim Jackson’s educational efforts over the course of her career.
The 2022 National Pamela S. Dillon Boating Educator of the Year winner will be announced at the NASBLA Awards Banquet scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 29. For more information on the Educator of the Year Award, please visit www.nasbla.org/awards.
Generously sponsored by Kalkomey Enterprises, Inc., the Pamela S. Dillon Boating Educator of the Year Award was launched by NASBLA in 2011 to recognize those who go above to engage students and boaters, raise awareness, and make boating education initiatives relevant, thorough and exciting.
The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) is a national nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety. NASBLA represents the recreational boating authorities of all 50 states and the U.S. territories. We offer a variety of resources, including training, model acts, education standards, publications and more. Through a national network of thousands of professional educators, law enforcement officers and volunteers, we affect the lives of nearly 85 million American boaters.