Boating Educator of the Year

Nominating: Pamela s. dillon boating educator of the year

In 2019, Pamela S. Dillon retired after more than 40 years in recreational boating safety. In recognition of Pam’s hard work, dedication and service given to NASBLA, the States and the recreational boating safety community, the Boating Educator of the Year award was renamed the ‘Pamela S. Dillon Educator of the Year’ award. In 2011, Pam began serving as the Education and Standards Director for NASBLA. In this position, she led NASBLA’s education efforts with monumental results. With all she accomplished in her time with NASBLA, it is just the tip of the iceberg in what she accomplished over a lifetime of vocation and service in the recreational boating community.

Educators and volunteers from state and local agencies and from nonprofit organizations are eligible. Boating law administrators should nominate candidates who have made an outstanding contribution to boating safety through education. A nominee should be someone in the education field who goes above and beyond to engage students and boaters, raise awareness, and make boating education and education initiatives relevant, thorough and exciting. Posthumous nominations are not eligible.

Three regional finalists will be chosen from among the state nominees and will win a paid trip to the NASBLA Annual Conference where the national winner will be announced and recognized during the Awards Ceremony.

Nominations for this award must be submitted by a boating law administrator.

The nomination deadline for the Educator of the Year award is March 31, 2024. Nominations for 2024 are now open. 

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National boating educator of the year selected

NASBLA and Kalkomey Enterprises, Inc. are pleased to announce the regional winners of the Boating Educator of the Year Award. This award symbolizes the highest level of achievement among boating safety educators in the U.S.

National Winner 2023

Kosette Isakson, Alaska
During its 64th annual meeting, held in Denver, Colorado, from Sept. 19 - 22, 2023, NASBLA presented its prestigious national Pamela S. Dillon Boating Educator of the Year award to Kosette Isakson with the Alaska Office of Boating Safety. NASBLA congratulates Kosette Isakson on receiving the National Boating Educator of the Year award in recognition of her exceptional career and impact on recreational boating safety.

Northern Region

Brian Markman - NYBrian Markman
New York

Brian Markman, of the New York City Police Department Auxiliary Harbor Unit, has been named the 2023 NASBLA Northern Region Educator of the Year. Brian Markman's outstanding contributions to promoting safe boating education both on the water and in the classroom have earned him this well-deserved recognition. As a dedicated member of the NYPD Auxiliary Harbor Unit, Markman patrols the bustling waters of New York City, ensuring the safety of boaters and others recreating on New York’s waterways. Through casual conversations, the distribution of educational materials, and courtesy vessel inspections, Markman actively engages with boaters, emphasizing the importance of proper education to avoid tragic incidents.

In addition to his on-water efforts, Markman has played a vital role in making free classroom boating education accessible to the people of New York City. For nearly a decade, he has tirelessly taught boating safety courses to hundreds of students. His dedication and passion for boating education have made a significant difference in enhancing the safety and enjoyment of boaters across the region. Congratulations, Brian Markman! Read the full press release

Southern Region

Master Officer Ashley O'Hare - NCMaster Officer Ashley O'Hare
North Carolina

Master Officer Ashley O'Hare, of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC), has been named the 2023 NASBLA Southern Region Educator of the Year. With six years of dedicated service to NCWRC’s Law Enforcement Division, Officer O'Hare has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to boating safety education and ensuring the protection of all boaters on North Carolina’s waterways. Over the past year, Officer O'Hare has excelled in proactive enforcement efforts and boating safety education. Her commitment to enhancing her skills and knowledge was evident as she completed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) Train-the-Trainer class, followed by the 24-hour NASBLA Boating Under the Influence (BUI) Train-the-Trainer course. Equipped with the expertise to instruct the seated battery of standardized field sobriety tests, Officer O'Hare went on to provide invaluable in-service training for her fellow wildlife officers and recruits at the Basic Training School.

Officer O'Hare demonstrates a profound dedication to advocating for safe and responsible boating, ensuring public safety through proactive law enforcement, and delivering high-quality education to all recreational boaters. Her exceptional commitment makes her an invaluable asset to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and the entire state of North Carolina. Congratulations Master Officer Ashley O'Hare! Read the full press release


Western Region

Kosette Isakson - AKKosette Isakson

Kosette Isakson, of the Alaska Office of Boating Safety, has been named the NASBLA Western Region Educator of the Year for 2023. As a key member of the Alaska Office of Boating Safety, Isakson has played a pivotal role in elevating the organization to new heights. Her passion for boating and continuous dedication to sharing boating safety knowledge has made her one of the office's most respected and sought-after instructors. Isakson’s vast experience and expertise in the field have earned her a devoted fan base of repeat customers who consistently seek her training programs. One of Isakson’s most notable accomplishments is her role as the coordinator of Alaska's Kids Don't Float program, a statewide safety initiative aimed at addressing the high child and youth drowning rates across the state. Additionally, Isakson has developed the Save It for the Shore campaign, a successful initiative that encourages responsible boating practices in relation to boating under the influence (BUI).

Isakson’s commitment to boating safety, combined with her exceptional organizational skills and ability to inspire others, has made her an invaluable asset to the Office of Boating Safety. Her tireless efforts have not only saved lives but have also advanced the field of boating safety education in Alaska. Congratulations, Kosette Isakson! Read the full press release


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 to engage students and boaters, raise awareness, and make boating education initiatives relevant, thorough and exciting.

2023 State Boating Educators of the Year

Northern Region

Dieter Bromkamp, Connecticut

Stephen Barr, Maine

Brian Markman, New York

Southern Region

Corporal Tye DeCramer, Missouri

Master Officer Ashley O'Hare, North Carolina

Western Region

Kosette Isakson, Alaska

Matt Schuler, Colorado

Deputy Robert Higens, Idaho

(Those in bold text are the regional boating educators of the year)

Previous Recipients