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Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators Given to 11 US Teachers

Release Date: 05/07/2013
Contact Information: Dale Kemery (news media only) 202-564-7839 202-564-4355 Jennifer Bowman (non-media inquiries) 202-564-9824

WASHINGTON – The White House Council on Environmental Quality, in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has announced the winners of the 2013 Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators. Eleven teachers from around the country are being recognized for their exceptional work as leaders in the field of environmental education in formal school settings. Award recipients and their local education agencies will receive commemorative certificates and monetary awards to help support and encourage their use of environmental education in their classrooms and schools.

“The men and woman who are receiving this prestigious award have taken innovative steps to educate students about environmental stewardship and civic responsibility, and their work is a critical part of creating a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable future,” said EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe. “Thanks to their creative approaches to environmental education, students are developing a greater connection to the world around them – a skill that will benefit young people throughout their careers as they pursue the green jobs of the 21st century. At EPA, we are grateful to know that such exceptional educators are in American classrooms today.”

The Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators recognizes outstanding K-12 teachers and their local education agencies across the United States for excellence in integrating environmental education into their lessons and connecting students with their communities and the natural world.

This program recognizes and supports teachers from both rural and urban education settings who make use of experiential and environmental opportunities that utilize creativity and community engagement to help students develop a sense of civic responsibility and stewardship in ecosystems. This year’s winning teachers' programs range from students’ participation in watershed stewardship and civic engagement in Virginia, to creating recycling programs for an entire school in Kansas, to land stewardship practices in Idaho. Many teachers have inspired and empowered their students to create spaces for “green” clubs and special environmental science projects that include whole communities and businesses that help to create learning opportunities that students may otherwise not experience. These teachers demonstrate exceptional skill integrating learning outside their classrooms and making use of real-world issues to help students connect with, and participate in the world around them.

"This award recognizes the outstanding educators in our classrooms who are taking innovative approaches to helping students understand the impact they can have on our physical world," said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality. "The teachers who have earned this award are inspiring our nation's future leaders to be responsible stewards of our environment, and preparing them to excel in the 21st century economy."

Recipients of the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators include:

      Mary Marguerite Murphy, Camden Hills Regional High School, Rockport, Maine
      Mary Breslin, George Washington Middle School, Alexandria, Va.
      Carolyn Ruos Thomas, Wildwood Middle School, Shenandoah Junction, W. Va.
      Jeanna Burroughs Goodson, Maiden High School, Maiden, N. C.
      Mary Catherine Padgett, Ford Elementary School, Acworth, Ga.
      Anne Wiszowaty, North Shore Community School, Duluth, Minn.
      Mike Todd, Ames High School, Ames, Iowa
      Dominick S. DeRosa, F.L.Schlagle High School, Kansas City, Kan.
      Dominique Evans-Bye, Clark Magnet High School, La Crescenta, Calif.
      Ralph Harrison, Science and Math Institute, Tacoma, Wash.
      Lindsey Hoffman-Truxel, Barbara Morgan Elementary, McCall, Idaho

    More information about the winners and this program: