A cohort of 11 educators from across the county will inspire environmental initiatives and efficacy in their communities as EcoRise Teacher Ambassadors.
Austin, Texas, September 3, 2018—EcoRise, a nonprofit curriculum and training provider based in Austin, Texas, has announced their 2018–19 cohort of Teacher Ambassadors. Out of a competitive pool of applicants, 11 passionate educators from Boston; New York City; Washington, D.C.; Houston; Dallas; San Antonio; and Central Texas have been chosen to represent EcoRise across the U.S. Each of these educators are leaders of sustainability education in their communities, and have demonstrated a strong commitment to the EcoRise mission and core values of being leading-edge, building camaraderie, embracing integrity, practicing resilience, cultivating gratitude, and striving for equity.
The 2018–19 EcoRise Teacher Ambassadors are:
- Vielca Anglin—Biology, environmental science, and STEM teacher, City-as-School High School, New York City Department of Education, New York
- Jessica Campbell—4th grade English language arts, science, and social studies teacher Lafayette Elementary School, D.C. Public Schools, Washington D.C.
- Jamille Fields—12th grade environmental systems teacher, Adamson High School, Dallas Independent School District, Texas
- Haley Galyean—3rd-6th math specialist, Tomball Independent School District, Texas
- Dianna Koon—8th grade science at E.M.Pease Middle School, Northside Independent School District, San Antonio, Texas
- Stacie Mehaffey—1st grade at Ehrhardt Elementary School, Klein Independent School District, Texas
- Denise Ortiz—AP environmental science and aquatic science, New Braunfels High School, New Braunfels Independent School District, Texas
- Christine Riera—Bilingual kindergarten, Brooke Elementary School, Austin Independent School District, Texas
- Kristin “Kiki” Schreiber—Marine Biology graduate student, Northeastern University, Massachusetts
- Mary Ann Settlemyre—STEAM and outdoor education, Centreville Elementary School, Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia
- David Ward—4th grade math and science, Joe Lee Johnson Elementary School, Round Rock Independent School District, Texas
The purpose of the EcoRise Teacher Ambassador program is to recognize the trailblazers in sustainability education and foster community between like-minded individuals. Generating a network of passionate and talented educators gives them a community they can leverage and exchange resources and support with. Throughout the 2018–19 school year, each educator will facilitate teacher trainings, support other EcoRise teachers in their communities, present at conferences, and recruit future EcoRise teachers. They will provide valuable ongoing feedback to the EcoRise staff that will drive improvements to EcoRise’s curriculum and school-based program. Most importantly, they will continue to captivate their students in the classroom with EcoRise curriculum, support, and programming.
“Cultivating a relationship with these passionate environmental educators is one of the key ways we can activate more environmental educators across the U.S., in turn, motivating more youth to tackle real-world problems through design innovation, social entrepreneurship, and teaching sustainability in the classroom,” said EcoRise Director of Programs, Abby Randall. “We are always looking to expand our reach and impact by partnering with individuals that manifest the same dedication and energy we have to build an ecosystem where a new generation of leaders can thrive.”
On July 30, the 2018–19 Ambassadors, along with EcoRise District Partners, convened at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, for the inaugural three day Summer Institute. The training honed in on refining their professional development skills, familiarizing them with EcoRise’s resources and support, and equipping them with skills they need to ignite a new generation of green advocates. The Summer Institute inducted these educators into a highly engaged and supportive community and prepared them to effect change and empower more students in their respective communities.
In the Institute post-survey, one Ambassador wrote “I really enjoyed the Institute and fell in love with the EcoRise vision and people. I’m so grateful to be a part of such a driven and positive group!” Another Ambassador reflected that this year’s Ambassador cohort is “a great group of people and comradery was strong from the outset. EcoRise staff are simply amazing.”
In the short time since the Summer Institute, the Ambassadors are already hard at work: Stacie Mehaffey presented to a captivated audience of K–12 teachers from across the Houston metro area last week; Vielca Anglin assisted at an NYC teacher training; Haley Galyean held an EcoRise and PBL session for K–12 math teachers in Tomball ISD; Kiki Schreiber co-facilitated a teacher training in Washington D.C.; and Jamillie Fields is working on a blog post reflecting on his experience at the Institute. EcoRise is extremely proud to be represented by such an amazing group of educators. To learn more about each of the 2018–19 Teacher Ambassadors, click here.
EcoRise develops the next generation of creative problem solvers by enlivening conventional classrooms with academically aligned K–12 curriculum that introduces students to environmental literacy, social innovation, and hands-on design skills. EcoRise supports teachers in helping 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.