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EPA Administrator Wheeler and White House CEQ Chairman Neumayr Honor over 200 U.S. Teachers and Students at Presidential Environmental Youth Awards Ceremony

07/25/2019
Contact Information: 
EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov)

WASHINGTON (July 25, 2019) - Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler and White House Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ) Chairman Mary Neumayr announced the 2019 awardees of the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators (PIAEE) and the President's Environmental Youth Award (PEYA) during an awards ceremony at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.

"The Presidential Environmental Education Awards Ceremony is a day I look forward to each year because it is a time when we honor some of the best and brightest in environmental education and stewardship," said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. "This year, CEQ Chairman Mary Neumayr joined me in celebrating our 200 student and teacher winners who represent excellence in environmental protection. Congratulations and thank you to all our winners for their dedication to protecting human health and the environment."

 "It was a pleasure to join Administrator Wheeler today as we recognized the achievements of students and teachers from across the country who are promoting environmental stewardship and furthering environmental education in their communities and schools," said CEQ Chairman Neumayr. "These students are our nation's next generation of leaders and are doing outstanding work." 

From across the country, 19 educators and 200 students were recognized for their remarkable efforts that promote environmental education and stewardship. Eleven educators received the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators, and eight educators were recognized with an honorable mention distinction. Additionally, the 200 student award recipients - who worked as a team or individually on 17 projects - received the President's Environmental Youth Award.  Altogether, EPA received 162 project applications from 26 states.

Teacher and student awardees presented their projects at a poster session for attendees and EPA leadership, and EPA program offices hosted the "EPA Student Information Fair," during which students and teachers interacted with staff to learn more about the agency's work.

Established by the 1990 National Environmental Education Act, the PEYA program promotes local environmental awareness among our nation's youth and encourages positive community involvement. EPA Headquarters works with staff located in EPA's 10 regional offices in the selection of award recipients across the country.

Also established by the 1990 National Environmental Education Act, PIAEE supports, encourages and nationally honors outstanding kindergarten through high school educators who integrate environmental and place-based, experiential learning into school curricula and school facility management across the country. Under the act, the White House CEQ assists EPA in administering the awards program.

The PIAEE program seeks to recognize, support and bring public attention to the outstanding environmental projects performed by these innovative teachers who go beyond textbook instruction to incorporate methods and materials that utilize creative experiences and enrich student learning. The program recognizes up to 20 elementary and secondary (K-12) education teachers, school administrators, and their local education agencies and provides funding to help support those educators in their environmental education work.

PIAEE Winners:

Region 2

Aaron Baker
High Point Regional High School
Sussex, New Jersey

AnnMarie Mills
Islip Middle School
Islip, New York

Region 3

Brittany L. Bauer
Wyoming County East High School
New Richmond, West Virginia

Jared Fritzinger
Old Donation School
Virginia Beach, Virginia

Region 4

Nancy Platt
James B. Edwards Elementary School
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Carrie Settles Livers
Brookwood High School
Snellville, Georgia

Region 5

Jennifer A. Heyer
Cedar Ridge Elementary School
Eden Prairie, Minnesota

Region 6

Ryan D. Beeler
Spring Woods High School
Houston, Texas

Region 8

Amy R. Williams
Polson Middle School
Polson, Montana

Region 9

Jacqueline Omania
Oxford Elementary School
Berkeley, California

Region 10

Anne K. McHugh
Franklin High School
Portland, Oregon

The following teachers were recognized as PIAEE honorable mention recipients:

Region 3

Matthew Sturdivant
Odyssey Charter School
Wilmington, Delaware

Region 4

Missy Eason
Pine Grove Elementary School
Valdosta, Georgia

Elaine Fiore
Beachside Montessori Village
Hollywood, Florida

Region 6

Isabel Anaya
Charles L. Kuentz, Jr. Elementary School
Helotes, Texas

Allison Adkinson
Tarver-Rendon Elementary School
Burleson, Texas

Region 8

Caitlin Webb
Dixon School
Dixon, Montana

Region 9

Rachna Nath
Arizona College Preparatory - Erie Campus
Chandler, Arizona

Kelly Porter
Edison High School
Huntington Beach, California

Learn more about the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators (PIAEE) Winners

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PEYA Winners:

Region 1

Award Category: Grade 6-12  
Generation Growers
Team Members: Ava, Ella, Lila, Claire, Amelia, Madeleine, Beckett, Teaghan, Colby, Isabelle, Teddy, Lydia, Michael, Keigan, Annie, Carina, Emma, Sinead, Evan, Spencer, Lucy, Addison, Joey, Melanie, Gabby, Stella, Brooke, Ellie, Natalie, Olivia, and Nell
Massachusetts

Region 2

Award Category: Grade 6-12
Light and Hope for Puerto Rico
by Salvador
Puerto Rico

Region 3

Award Category: Grade 6-12  
Friends of the Earth
Team Members: Sebastian, Hannaha, Destany, Zoe, Myranda, Emily, Hailey, Taylor, David, Nathan, Hailey, Brenda, Amy, Angela, and Bryce
West Virginia

Region 4

Award Category: Grade K-5 
Bobcat Up! Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Team Members: Ben, Kayla, Eva, Gabriela, and Sabrina
Florida

Award Category: Grade 6-12 
The Fishes Wishes
by Ryan
Florida

Region 5

Award Category: Grade K-5
Recycling Trailblazer by Lane
Ohio

Award Category: Grade 6-12

Aquatic Robotics/Invasive Species Education
Team Members: Robert, Zakari, Brooklyn, James, Jack, Arnold, Ernest, Kevin, Carly, and Kirby
Minnesota

Region 6

Award Category: Grade K-5

Harveyville Recycling Team
Team Members: Ahmad, Reyna, Marley, Jayleen, Jamie, Sophia, Evelyn, Aiden, Mario, Zevin, Kaitlyn, and Estrella
Texas

Award Category: Grade 6-12

Northern Bobwhite Quail Reintroduction Project by Trevor
Texas

Region 7

Award Category: Grade K-5

Getting Markers Out of Landfills by Joslyn
Nebraska

Award Category: Grade 6-12

Pollinator Paradise

Team Members: Drake, Evan, Zachary, Peyton, Abigail, Riley, Katherine, Wyatt, Carlei, Elaine, Lucas, Makayla, Calvin, Zoe, Grant, Lindy, Alexander, Elijah, Zachariah, Carson, Evan, Madison, Cohen, Katie, Alexandria, Haley, Josephine, Joseph, Cale, Rose, William, Chase, Eliana, Peyton, Ashton, Alexander, James, Gwendolyn, Gavin, Caiden, Colby, Jack, Elsa, Jane, James, Hope, Liam, Landry, Sawyer, Sierra, Katelyn, Jackson, Karter, William, Bryson, Alex, Will, Henry, Audri, Abigail, Isaac, Dakota, Jillian, Vincent, Lilian, Landon, Kyah, Joshua, Hallie, Henry, Noah, Cohen, Emma, Gage, Cason, Liliana, Caiden, Kalie, Gracie, Annabelle, Mason, and Connor
Missouri

Region 8

Award Category: Grade K-5

Green Team Superheroes
Team Members: Aiden, Brady, Henry, Jackson, Alyssa, Madison, Annikah, Reagan, Samuel, Campbell, Julianne, Dillon, Genevieve
Colorado

Award Category: Grade 6-12

Development of a Novel Tool for Monitoring Soil Health and Contamination by Kylan
Colorado

Region 9

Award Category: Grade K-5

Whalemanji: Welcome to the Ocean - an integrated project to help support the Humpback Whale
Team Members: Electra, Luke, Rocco, Robert, Tej, Kinsey, Samantha, Kadence, Emilia, Luc, Isabelle, Izaak, Madison, Cisco, Cavan, Elyse, and Nash
California

Award Category: Grade 6-12

The Healthy Freedom Campaign
Team Members: Lila, Zion, Felix, Kohana, and Nikita
California

Region 10

Award Category: Grade K-5

Worm Soup and Growing Green
Team Members: Kamryn, Samantha, Aaron, and Emelyn
Washington

Award Category: Grade 6-12

Restoration and Preservation of Deer Creek in the Aftermath of the Beaver Creek Fire by Hunter
Idaho

Learn more about the President's Environmental Youth Award

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