The 2015 recipient of the Mike Elrick Environmental Leadership Award is Patsy Collier, a teacher at Victoria Terrace Public School in Fergus.
This the sixth year the Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) has honoured the memory of the late Mike Elrick with an award for staff or volunteers who have demonstrated environmental leadership within their school community or school board.
“Patsy embodies environmental stewardship in everything she does, and is a quiet but powerful influence who leads by example and inspires others to follow,” said Karen Acton, environmental sustainability lead for UGDSB. “She has worked tirelessly for many years towards creating a school that promotes environmental sustainability and stewardship.”
Those efforts were recognized this year as Victoria Terrace PS became the first elementary school in the board to earn a platinum seal from Ontario EcoSchools, an environmental education and certification program for kindergarten to Grade 12.
The platinum status follows years of tireless leadership by Collier, who guided Victoria Terrace PS to become the first school in the board to earn EcoSchool certification in 2009. Today there are 33 certified EcoSchools in the board.
Collier has worked hard to encourage students to become environmental leaders. The membership of the EcoTeam has climbed to over 50 this year. Perseverance and resiliency were clearly demonstrated in the efforts of this year’s EcoTeam as they worked towards their goals with the support of staff, parents and the community.
“We are all very proud of this exemplary achievement,” Acton said.
But Victoria Terrace PS isn’t done yet. With the support of the school council and fundraising efforts this year, the school community is looking forward to increasing the outdoor learning spaces with an outdoor classroom and naturalized kindergarten yard.
In choosing Collier, the award committee had a difficult decision to make with a record 21 nominations. The committee congratulated all of nominees for the amazing work they do in our schools, and thanked all of those who took the time to submit nominations.
2015 nominees in Wellington county:
– Anna Mark, teacher, Victoria Terrace PS
– John Scot, teacher, Elora PS
– Kelly Doerr, teacher, Kenilworth PS
– Kathryn Mayo, teacher, Elora PS
– Lynnette Knapp, teacher, Brisbane PS
– Mary Johnston, teacher, CWDHS
– Michael Hendrick, teacher, Norwell DSS
– Susan Dodds, teacher, JD Hogarth PS