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CTC instructor named 'green' Educator of the Year | Environment

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CTC instructor named 'green' Educator of the Year
CTC instructor named 'green' Educator of the Year

ACWORTH, Ga. -- A horticulture instructor at Chattahoochee Technical College has been named the 2012 Georgia Green Industry Association Educator of the Year.

John Hatfield teaches at the school's North Metro Campus in Acworth.

"I went into education to try to make a difference," Hatfield said. "I wasn't always a big fan of school when I went through it. I said if I ever got the chance to teach, I would try to do it differently. I think I've done my best to make that happen."

Hatfield began teaching at CTC in 1995. He attended Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, the school where his parents met ("It was just understood that I would go there," he said), before earning a degree in landscape architecture from the University of Georgia and starting his own landscape design business. He returned to UGA for the graduate degree that would allow him to teach.

He specializes in irrigation and landscape design, saying that in his classroom, "We're starting to talk about water management and how it is a scarce resource. When we are in trouble times like a drought, the first thing people do is turn off the water outside. But the plants need that water, so we have to look at how we can manage the needs."

Hatfield received his award at the annual GGIA WinterGreen Conference in January. The Educator of the Year Award honors someone who makes an outstanding contribution to ornamental horticultural research and promotion of the industry in the classroom.

"I stick with it because I enjoy it," Hatfield said. "The added bonus is that I might be doing some good too."