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 was April 30, 2022. Nominations for 2022 are now closed. 

View sample application.

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 2022

Kim Jackson - Arizona
During its 63rd annual meeting, held in Manchester, New Hampshire, from Sept. 27 - 30, 2022, NASBLA presented its prestigious national Pamela S. Dillon Boating Educator of the Year award to Kim Jackson with the Arizona Game and Fish Department. NASBLA congratulates Kim Jackson on receiving the National Boating Educator of the Year award in recognition of her exceptional career and impact on recreational boating safety.


Northern Region

Lieutenant John Girvalakis - MALieutenant John Girvalakis
Massachusetts

Lieutenant John Girvalakis, of the Massachusetts Environmental Police (MEP), has been named the 2022 NASBLA 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 encompasses the knowledge, skills, dedication, and willingness to share the recreational boating safety mission within the state of Massachusetts, and most importantly, with the entirety of the boating public. His efforts in the classroom and in the field have certainly lead to safer waterways throughout the state of Massachusetts. Congratulations, Lieutenant John Girvalakis! Read the full press release

Southern Region

Trooper Tyler W. O'Brien - MOTrooper Tyler W. O'Brien
Missouri

Trooper Tyler W. O'Brien, of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, has been named the 2022 NASBLA Southern Region Educator of the Year. 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.

Trooper O'Brien continues to improve his marine-related knowledge to better educate and assist the citizens of Missouri. Trooper O'Brien's efforts on the water and in the classroom have significantly increased boating and water safety in the Central Missouri area. Congratulations Trooper Tyler O'Brien! Read the full press release

 

Western Region

Kim Jackson - AZKim Jackson
Arizona

Kim Jackson, of the Arizona Game and Fish Department, has been named the NASBLA Western Region Educator of the Year for 2022. 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. Each year, Jackson trains hundreds of AZGFD staff and members of the public in boating and paddlesports safety. In 2021, Jackson and her team engaged over 20,000 Arizonans at 30 events statewide.

Jackson is a wealth of information and is an asset to the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Her dedication and commitment to boating safety education is remarkable and she truly is a leader in this field. Congratulations, Kim Jackson! Read the full press release

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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.

2022 State Boating Educators of the Year

Northern Region

Paul Gibson, Connecticut

Lieutenant John Girvalakis, Massachusetts

John Rathbun, New York

Southern Region

Trooper Tyler W. O'Brien, Missouri

Master Officer Brandon Barbee, North Carolina

Wally Lessig, Tennessee

Western Region

Kim Jackson, Arizona

Deputy Gerald Wallace, Idaho

Gail Kaiser, Nevada

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

Previous Recipients