Six Teachers Honored as EcoRise Teacher Ambassadors
Each educator has demonstrated leadership in teaching sustainability, design innovation, and social entrepreneurship
September 19, 2017
Austin, TX―EcoRise, the school-based curriculum organization inspiring a new generation of leaders to design a sustainable future for all, has announced the selection of six outstanding educators for its 2017-18 Teacher Ambassador Program. The new ambassadors are a diverse group of educators, teaching different subjects and grade levels, but each has demonstrated leadership in sustainability education. This group’s involvement in the ambassador program will run through August 2018, during which time they will benefit from several exclusive opportunities, including professional development training, priority access to new pilot programs and initiatives, and the chance to present at conferences on behalf of EcoRise.
“Working closely with teachers who are not only skilled in teaching sustainability, but who can match their skill with an enduring passion for developing the next generation of problem solvers and leaders, is core to the mission of EcoRise,” said Gina LaMotte, Founder and Executive Director of EcoRise. “We are delighted to welcome our new class of Teacher Ambassadors, whose achievements in their classrooms have impressed and inspired the EcoRise team, and whose work over the next year will be a critical part of our continued progress toward a reality where sustainability, design innovation, and social entrepreneurship are recognized as essential elements in schools across the nation.”
Each Teacher Ambassador is an experienced EcoRise teacher who has demonstrated a strong interest in and commitment to the EcoRise mission and core values of being leading-edge, building camaraderie, embracing integrity, practicing resilience, and cultivating gratitude. The 2017-18 EcoRise Teacher Ambassadors are:
• Kate Hoffner―3rd-grade social studies and language arts teacher, Hill Elementary School, Austin, Tex.
• Denise Ortiz―11th and 12th grade AP environmental science and aquatic science teacher, New Braunfels High School, New Braunfels, Tex.
• Andrea Tole―6th-grade science teacher, Covington Middle School Fine Arts Academy, Austin, Tex.
• Dina Tucker―Sustainability Coordinator, 11th grade honors biology and AP environmental science teacher, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, Austin, Tex.
• Ed Yoo―11th grade honors chemistry and 12th grade AP biology teacher, Codman Academy Charter Public School, Dorchester, Mass.
• Mary Ann Settlemyer―STEAM and Outdoor Education Specialist, Centreville Elementary School, Centreville, Va.
The ambassadors will have their accomplishments highlighted across EcoRise digital platforms, including the EcoRise website, social media, and e-newsletters. Throughout their year in the program, they will have an important role in attending and presenting at conferences with the goal of recruiting and training new teachers to deliver sustainability education. They will provide valuable ongoing feedback to the EcoRise staff that will drive improvements to EcoRise’s curriculum and school-based program.
EcoRise develops the next generation of creative problem solvers by enlivening conventional classrooms with academically-aligned K-12 curriculum that introduce students to environmental literacy, social innovation and hands-on design skills.
Green professionals serve as guest speakers and project mentors to help students solve real-world sustainability challenges concerning energy, water, waste, transportation, air quality, food and public spaces. The program focuses on enhancing STEM education, promoting sustainability, introducing students to green careers, and helping students develop 21st-century skills.
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