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News Releases from Region 09

U.S. EPA Honors Atherton Teacher with Environmental Education Award at the White House

Contact Information: 
Soledad Calvino (calvino.maria@epa.gov)

SAN FRANCISCO - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in conjunction with the White House Council on Environmental Quality, honored James Powell, a science teacher for students in grades 10 through 12 at Menlo-Atherton High School in Atherton, Calif., with the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Education (PIAEE). His award was presented in a ceremony at the White House, where 27 teachers and 44 students from across the nation were honored for their outstanding contributions to environmental education and stewardship.

Honorable mention awards were given to Josh Armstrong, a 7th and 8th grade science teacher at Alpine Leadership Academy in Flagstaff, Ariz., and Jackie Lacey, a kindergarten through 6th grade teacher at Kimbark Elementary School in San Bernardino, Calif.

Today's student awardees received the EPA's President's Environmental Youth Award (PEYA). This year's regional winner was the fifth grade class at Mount Madonna School in Watsonville, Calif., for their year-long campaign titled "Don't be a Nurdle, Help the Sea Turtle: Poaching, Bycatch & Plastic Pollution, Tell the World About Our Solution," to protect threatened leatherback sea turtles.

"To tackle future ecological challenges, it is critical to instill a sense of environmental protection in our new generation of students," said Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. "We are proud to honor these extraordinary teachers and students who use their local ecosystems and community as a context for learning."

The PIAEE awards are given to environmental educators who use innovative, hands-on, experiential approaches. Mr. Powell, this year's Regional winner, spread environmental literacy in his classroom through innovative outdoor teaching. His award is accompanied by $2,500 to further professional training, and Menlo-Atherton High School will receive an additional $2,500 to support its environmental education program.

The annual competitions for teachers and students recognize exceptional K-12 teachers employing innovative approaches to environmental education in their schools and student outstanding leaders in environmental stewardship.

For information on environmental education at EPA, visit www2.epa.gov/education

For details on the new PIAEE winners, visit http://www2.epa.gov/education/presidential-innovation-award-environmental-educators-piaee-winners

For details on the new PEYA winners, visit http://www2.epa.gov/education/presidents-environmental-youth-award-peya-winners

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