Press Release

Press Release State Officials Recognize 32 Programs for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education

For immediate release:
5/14/2018
  • Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Media Contact

Katie Gronendyke

BOSTONAt a State House ceremony, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton today honored 32 energy and environmental education programs at Massachusetts schools and nonprofits as part of the 24th Annual Secretary’s Awards for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education.

“The environmental programs and educators honored today provide hands-on learning opportunities in STEM fields that prepare their students for success,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our administration is proud to recognize the dedicated Massachusetts teachers and nonprofit educators who go above and beyond what is required to get their students interested in studying energy and the environment.”

“Environmental and energy education programs teach our children important scientific and critical-thinking skills, as well as show them how they can make a difference in their communities and schools,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “These extraordinary educators are proactively preparing their students to be our future environmental stewards.”

Winners competed for $5,000 in awards, funded by the Massachusetts Environmental Trust with the intention to fund further environmental education initiatives at the schools. EEA solicited Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education Award nominations in early 2017. Schools and organizations that voluntarily incorporate environmental education into public or private school curricula are given priority.

“The initiatives we are recognizing today range from garden projects and outdoor classroom programs, to watershed and vernal pool projects, to teaching about the environment through art and music,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beaton. “As we face many ongoing environmental challenges, including a changing climate, it is more important than ever that we prioritize environmental literacy and teach the next generation the importance of protecting our natural resources.”

The project applications were scored by the Secretary’s Advisory Group on Energy and Environmental Education, a group of environmental educators from state agencies, non-profits, industry and academia.

Secretary Beaton also recognized the U.S. Department of Education (USED) Green Ribbon Schools awardees from Massachusetts, Arlington Public School District and Mendon-Upton Regional School District. The award honors schools that are exemplary in reducing environmental impact and costs, improving the health and wellness of students and staff and providing effective environmental and sustainability education, which incorporates STEM, civic skills and green career pathways.

“We are very proud of all the schools that received this award for their work around energy and environmental education,” said Education Secretary James Peyser. “Strengthening environmental education in our schools is crucial to our students’ future successes in STEM fields, and our state’s economy.”

24th Annual Secretary’s Awards for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education

Agawam:                    Agawam Junior High School (Feeding Hills) “Hydroponics and Greenhouses” Teacher Norm Robbins, Grade 7

Amherst:                     UMass Extension 4-H /Center for Agriculture/College of Natural Sciences and Will Snyder Liaison/Coordinator, “Mass Envirothon” Grades 9-12

Ashburnham:             Oakmont Regional High School, “Oakmont Environmental Association,” Grades 9-12                                                                                                       

Beverly:                      Glen Urquhart School, Environmental Teacher Leader Emilie Cushing, Grade 7

Cambridge:                 Cambridge School Volunteers, “Art & Science in One Program,” Grades 4 & 5

Charlemont:               Hawlemont Regional “H.A.Y. Hawlemont Agriculture and You,” Grades PreK-6

Dudley:                       Shepherd Hill Regional High School Envirothon Team, Teacher/Coaches Justin Sauvageau & Ray Sullivan, Grades 9-12

Falmouth:                   Falmouth High School, “Vernal Pools and Pollinator Gardens:  Creating Living Laboratories at Schools,” Chris Brothers, Science Department Head for Falmouth Public Schools – Grades 7-12

Fitchburg:                   Memorial Middle School, “Science Society,” Chris Landry, Faculty Advisor, Grades 6-8

Great Barrington:   Monument Valley Regional Middle School, Mary Stucklen and the Green Beans Team, Grades 5-8

Hadley:                       Hartbrook School/Pioneer Valley Waldorf School “Plants in the Landscape:  Crafting and Ecological Approach to Patterns and Process in Nature” – Grades 9-12     

Hingham:                    Notre Dame Academy, “Exploring the Local Environment from Home, Water and Land,” Teacher Jana Mattei– grades 10-12

Holden:                       Dr. Leroy E. Mayo School, “Mayo School Garden,” Andrew Hacket, teacher - Grades K-5            

Lawrence:                   Groundwork Lawrence, “Sustainable Change Program,” Grades K-12

Lenox:                         Lenox Memorial Middle and High School “Environmental Science Courses” Brooke Kamienski, Grades 10-12

Lincoln:                       Massachusetts Audubon Drumlin Farm “Drumlin Farm Community Preschool,” Director Jill Canelli, Pre-K

Lunenburg:                 Sarah Cammer, PhD , Lunenburg Resident and Environmental Science and Technology Educator “Vocational and Technical Education Program related to Environmental Fields”- High School  Level

Lynn:                           Lynn Public Schools, “School to Sea Project,” Lia Stelljis and 6th Graders in the Lynn Public Schools

Millbury:                     Millbury Jr. Sr. High School, “Environmental Council Group,” Advisor Terry Hamilton, Grades 8-12

Nantucket:                 Maria Mitchel Association and Nantucket Community School, “Nantucket Science Festival” Kim Botelho, Emily Goldstein & Pauline Cronin

New Bedford:             Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School’s Environmental Engineering Program, “Water We Going To Do, Walking In Your Watershed For A Cleaner World,” Grades 9-12

New Bedford:              New Bedford Symphony Orchestra, “The Orchestra as Ecosystem,” Learning in Concert Education Director Terry Wolkowicz – Grades 2-7 more than 40 schools.

Newton:                     Mount Alvernia Academy (Chestnut Hill), “Environmental Programs and School Practices,” Grades PreK-6

Osterville:                   Cape Cod Academy Science Program, Jessica MacManus, Grades K-5, 8 and 9

Palmer:                       Palmer High School, “Environmental Science, Honors Biology & Life Sciences,” Michelle Corbeil-Crawford, Grades 9-12

Peabody:                    Captain Samuel Brown School, “Brown School – Green Strides 2018,” Grades K-5

Peabody:                    Captain Samuel Brown School “Brown School Garden Project” Jared Widberg, Project Coordinator, Grades K-5

Rockport:                   Seaside Sustainability, “Marine Sciences Program,” Grades K-12

Stow:                          Center School, “Hydroponic Gardening & Cutting the Carbon Environmental Engineering Program” Teacher Karen Mayotte, Grades preK-5            

Walpole:                     Norfolk County Agricultural High School, “Environmental Science ProgramGrades 9-12

Wellesley:                   Wellesley Public Schools (Bates and Fiske Elementary Schools)
“Solving Erosion at Morses Pond,” Teachers Irene Gruenfeld & Annie Gayner– Grade 4

Winchester:                McCall Middle School Greenhouse Club “Plants for Patients” Grades 6-8

“It is wonderful when students have the opportunity to learn about and take an interest in our environment.  Being good stewards of our natural resources is necessary,” said State Senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer). “I especially thank the teachers and students who are actively engaging and working to increase awareness and importance of green education.”

“Congratulations to the dedicated students and faculty of Falmouth High School for receiving this tremendous recognition,” said State Senator Vinny deMacedo (R-Plymouth). “I am proud that Falmouth, which hosts institutions doing world class environmental research, has invested in continuing that legacy by providing high school students with the opportunity to study and bring about positive change to our environment.”

“I want to congratulate Ms. Mary Stucklen, Ms. Brooke Kamienski, and the students at both Monument Valley Regional Middle School and Lenox Memorial Middle and High School for going above and beyond the normal ways of environmental education,” said State Representative Smitty Pignatelli (D-Lenox), Chairman for the Joint Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture. “This award is a testament to the powerful impact that hands-on teaching has in our children’s lives, and I’m so proud that two of our teachers from the Fourth Berkshire District are being acknowledged for their efforts. Thank you to Secretary Beaton for recognizing the incredible impact environmental education programs have in our schools.”

“We need a new generation of leaders committed to scientific and environmental discovery and, after seeing the work these students are doing, you can’t help but feel good about the future,” said State Representative Dylan Fernandes (D-Falmouth). “Congratulations to the Maria Mitchell Association, Nantucket Community School, and Falmouth High School for their well-deserved recognition.”

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Media Contact

Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs 

EEA seeks to protect, preserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s environmental resources while ensuring a clean energy future for the state’s residents. Through the stewardship of open space, protection of environmental resources, and enhancement of clean energy, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs works tirelessly to make Massachusetts a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family.

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