2021 Earth Steward Teaching Award Winners
2021 Award Recipients
The following educators have been chosen as the recipients of LSF’s 2021 Earth Steward Teaching Awards to recognize teachers for their exemplary contribution to sustainability education in Canada. This years winners and runners up demonstrate exceptional leadership in sustainability education, are recognized as inspirations to their students and school community, and have taken on creative, innovative projects to advance sustainability learning and education.
Amanda Green & Julie Arsenault (Ecole Champs Vallee School and Michael Stembitsky School - Edmonton, Alberta)
Julie and Amanda have many mottos, one if which is, "BE THE SPARK!". They thrive through collaboration with other teachers to share their passion for engaging STEM projects and most of all through implementing those projects with their students. Julie and Amanda have been using a theme of space exploration technologies as the "spark" to better life here on Earth. They utilize student's love for space to get them inspired by developing solutions to survive with limited resources in hostile environments, which ultimately will help life here on earth. They know their students are often faced with "climate anxiety" and they want them to be a part of the solution to help better our collective tomorrow.
Cameron Morin (St. Mary Catholic Elementary School - Campbellford, Ontario)
Over the past two years Cameron has worked to develop the knowledge, skills and perspectives of his Grade 6, 7 and 8 students on issues of sustainability by developing meaningful learning experiences. Students engage in consistent dialogue, year-round about issues of sustainability of local and global significance. When possible, he seeks opportunities for students to engage in interactive, hands-on learning outdoors, such as schoolyard bioblitzes. He also brings in community partners and experts (virtually and in person) to encourage a deeper connection and understanding among students, including engaging in virtual workshops through organizations like Learning for a Sustainable Future and welcoming guests like Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue to discuss protecting wildlife. In each of the last two years Cameron has worked to engage students in the planning of sustainable Action Projects, last year raising funds and collecting items for donation to Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue and this year through a sustainability action project proposal challenge among his students.
Secondary Runners up:
Jessica Quinnell (John McCrae Secondary School - Ottawa, Ontario)
“The best way to get students interested in a topic is to make it applicable to their lives and to allow them to develop a passion. We are all a part of the environment and once students recognize that and begin to look at how our actions impact it and what that means for their future they develop their own passion about the subject, one that I hope will last. By giving them a chance to think creatively about solutions, I hope to inspire a group of change makers who will make conscious sustainable decisions as they grow up.” -Jessica Quinnell
Elementary Runner Up:
Stephanie Spilchak (Holy Redeemer Catholic School - Ardrossan, Alberta)
“Stephanie has spearheaded a Nature Kindergarten program at our school, where Kindergarten students develop a passion for the environment and sustainability through hands-on learning outside! Stephanie (or Ranger Spilchak, as her students call her!) took it upon herself to develop a program for our district where students are given opportunities to take risks, explore, problem-solve, learn, and grow by spending their days in nature. She has worked incredibly hard to build the program - she has obtained Forest School educator training, pursued a great deal of professional development, collaborated with consultants from our board office, and continues to advocate for the importance of outdoor & sustainability education. The program has been very successful, to the extent that we are now considering adopting a nature-based education model throughout the rest of our grade 1 through 8 classes as well. Her passion for sustainability, free play, and outdoor education are contagious.” - Nominator