As teachers and students begin the school year, EcoRise is excited to announce our 2021–2022 cohort of Teacher Ambassadors! We selected 30 sustainability education trailblazers from a competitive pool of applicants to represent EcoRise, inspire change, and support other educators in their communities this school year. Those selected teach grades preK–12 and hail from 12 different regions across the United States from New York City to San Francisco, California to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.

The new Ambassadors are a diverse group of educators who are aligned to EcoRise’s mission and core values, and dedicated to activating students to create a healthy, just, and thriving world. They are joining a national support network of passionate and talented educators focused on improving local environmental issues through social change, working with youth and adults.

The new cohort of Teacher Ambassadors came together for the first time at EcoRise’s 4th Annual Summer Institute July 25th–27th, which was hosted virtually again this year. The event was made possible thanks to the Lakeshore Foundation, Love Tito’s, and Southwest Airlines. During the interactive three-day professional development experience, Ambassadors strengthened leadership skills; dug into environmental justice; explored design thinking, teaching climate using data, and outdoor learning strategies; and networked with like-minded educators from across the country.

One Ambassador reflected “The Summer Institute is my favorite activity to kick off the school year! It always leaves me ready to inspire and motivate my kids to advocate for the right to enjoy their world.” While another Ambassador said “I am thankful to have such wonderful partners to support the global cause of sustainability. Students today are very aware of environmental issues, and are excited to problem solve our issues with the help of EcoRise.” We’re all looking forward to a great school year!

The 2021–2022 EcoRise Teacher Ambassadors cohort includes:

Fourth-Year Ambassador

  • Christine Mederos—6th-grade teacher at Bedichek Middle School in Austin Independent School District, Austin, Texas

Third-year Ambassadors

  • Aimee O’Brien—4th-grade teacher at Chacon Language and Science Academy in Sacramento City Unified School District, Sacramento, California
  • Cherice Green—Innovation Coordinator at Friendship Technology Preparatory Academy, in Friendship Public Charter School, Washington, DC
  • Denisse Ochoa—9th–12th Librarian at North Early College High School in Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District, Pharr, Texas
  • Isabel Anaya—5th-grade teacher at Kuentz Elementary School in Northside Independent School District, San Antonio, Texas
  • Jennifer Humphrey—Science and environmental science teacher at Nimitz Middle School in Northeast Independent School District, San Antonio, Texas
  • Lyndsey Hurley—Math and science instructional specialist in Klein Independent School District, Klein, Texas
  • Rosalie Patel—Pre-K teacher at Boone Elementary in Austin Independent School District, Austin, Texas
  • Sabina Malkani—3rd-grade science and literacy intervention at Bruce-Monroe Elementary School at Park View in DC Public Schools, Washington, DC

Second-year Ambassadors

  • Anthony Allard, Green Building Academy Ambassador—Engineering teacher at Dunbar High School in District of Columbia Public Schools, Washington DC
  • Earl Gray—Sustainability Coordinator at Harlem Renaissance High School in New York Department of Education, New York, New York
  • Ed Yoo—Biology and AP environmental science teacher at Codman Academy Charter Public School, Dorchester, Massachusetts
  • Kendra Heffelbower —Math and STEM coach at C.W. Harris Elementary School in District of Columbia Public Schools, Washington DC
  • Marisa Varalli— Teacher on Special Assignment in San Francisco Unified School District, San Francisco, California
  • Mylene Garcia—Chemistry and environmental science teacher at Benjamin Banneker High School, in District of Columbia Public Schools, Washington DC
  • Nicole Nicholson—Biology, environmental systems and AP environmental science teacher at Klein Forest High School, in Klein ISD, Klein, Texas
  • Octavia Wolf—5th-grade ELA and social studies teacher at West Elementary School in District of Columbia Public Schools, Washington, DC
  • Sandy SanAhmadi—5th-grade teacher at Pony Express Elementary School in Sacramento City Unified School District, Sacramento, California
  • Steven Morris—STEM instructional coach at Langford Elementary School in Austin Independent School District, Austin, Texas
  • Sunshine Roque—Biology teacher at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco Unified School District, San Francisco, California
  • Victoria Galvan-Garcia—World geography teacher at Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Early College High School located in Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District, San Juan, Texas

First-year Ambassadors

  • Alexandra Dowd—Aquatic science teacher at New Braunfels High School, New Braunfels Independent School District, New Braunfels, Texas
  • Amelia Thomas—1st-grade teacher at Cascade Elementary, Atlanta Public Schools, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Jessica Cravens—2nd-grade teacher, San Jacinto Elementary, Ector County ISD, Odessa, Texas
  • Jocelyn Vache, Green Building Academy Ambassador—Technology literacy and computer science teacher at Boston International Newcomers Academy, Boston Public Schools, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Nichi Avina— 7th-grade teacher at Cielo Vista Charter School, Palm Springs Unified School District, Palm Spring, CA
  • Sally Smollar— K–6 Librarian at Plumosa School of the Arts, Delray Beach, California
  • Tameka Pierre-Louis, Green Building Academy Ambassador—Career and Technical Education Director at the Academy Charter School, Washington, DC
  • Tasha Messer— Moderate Intellectual Disability Special Education teacher at Pleasantdale Elementary School, Dekalb Schools, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tina Coba— Instructional Specialist, Volma Overton Early College Prep, Austin Independent School District, Austin, Texas

 

EcoRise is extremely proud to be represented by such an amazing group of educators. To learn more about each of the 2021–22 Teacher Ambassadors, click here.