Energy Educators of the Year
by Sara Black
28 May 2015
This year the Classroom Energy Diet Challenge saw hard-working educators from across the country compete with their classrooms to save the most energy and get the most points. With many applications submitted for the Energy Educator of the Year Award, choosing regional winners was no easy task. Here are this year’s winners:
Atlantic: Mark Slack
Mark Slack is a grade 4 teacher from Garden Creek School in Fredericton, N.B whose class completed all 25 challenges and participated in the Video Contest this year. He promoted energy awareness throughout his school and community including leading a student workshop at the local food bank where students learned the importance about local farming.
His take on energy literacy: “Energy literacy goes beyond just being aware of energy related issues. It also involves taking action to improve our world and coming up with solutions to the world’s energy issues. It about not only educating ourselves but those around us.”
Central: Nancy Gillis
Nancy Gillis is a grade 3/4 teacher at Cresthaven Public School in North York, Ont. She is her school’s Position of Responsibility, which makes her in charge of promoting eco-literacy. Gillis has worked with the student eco committee to help develop a film on the Line 9 Oil Pipeline, which was showcased at the United Nations World Environment Day Student Film Festival and was a runner-up for the KidsCan Press Award. In addition to providing guidance for energy issues, she has also created a variety of energy-saving initiatives and helped the school achieve Platinum Level Eco status through the Ontario Eco Schools program.
What others had to say about her: “She believes the environment is a priority for each of us and she communicates this belief in a way that connects with her intended audience…She knows it is through engagement that [positive] change can and will come…”
Pacific: Paul Stinson
Paul Stinson is a grade 5 teacher from Davidson School in Davidson, Sask. For the past three years, he has been an active participant in the Classroom Energy Diet Challenge. He has encouraged his school to compost, become aware of their energy-using habits and develop informed global citizens. He has incorporated numerous energy awareness initiatives including ‘take me outside day’, ‘communities in bloom’ and ‘walk for water.’ Additionally, he encourages students to take leadership roles and share the importance of energy literacy throughout the community.
Outside of school: Paul Stinson’s own home and acreage uses a combination of environmentally-friendly technologies aimed at reducing his personal carbon footprint. This includes solar panels on his home, growing local food (e.g., garden, orchard, bees, chickens) and building his home in an energy-efficient manner (e.g., composting toilets, local building materials, straw bale walls).