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Posted: March 1, 2017

Local educators recognized

CBEEN awards 2017 Awards of Environmental Education Excellence February 27

The Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN) is pleased to announce the recipients of our 2017 Awards of Environmental Education Excellence.

These went to six local educators who demonstrated excellence in encouraging stewardship and sustainability through environmental education in the Canadian Columbia Basin. Nominated by their peers, and chosen by a committee of past recipients, their experience, collaborative efforts and mentorship have made a very positive impact.

Awards will be presented at our 2017 Celebration of Environmental Education Events in Castlegar (May 31) and Kimberley (November 2).

Andrea Chapman, Kimberley

Andrea’s passion for nature interpretation started with a summer as a Wetland Naturalist in the Creston Valley. Since settling in Kimberley, Andrea has designed and delivered programs for the East Kootenay Park Interpreters and the Kootenay Bat Project, as well as her own Nature Tours company as well as winter programs for Ptarmigan Snowshoeing. Andrea has worked as Wildsight Kimberley Cranbrook’s Branch Manager for two years, and in that role has become a spokesperson for our Environment in the community. She is proud to have volunteered education/nature appreciation outings with groups such as College of the Rockies and the Boys and Girls Club.

Patty Kolesnichenko, Kimberley

For over 20 years, Patty has been an inspiring and passionate environmental educator, always looking for new ways to teach and inspire her students. Patty is an excellent communicator to primary students, and her passion for nature is infectious to them. A sense of wonder is one of the best gifts, and it’s a gift that Patty shares with her students daily. She is the first to jump on learning and mentorship opportunities with other educators and to improve programs.

Students and teachers consistently rave about Patty’s ability to bring programs alive.

Sandra Beckett, Golden

Sandra Beckett is a Kindergarten teacher at Alexander Park Elementary in Golden. She is the definition of a life-long learner and dedicated teacher. She has committed to taking her class outside every single day, and her students venture to places near and far from the school, and experience so many interesting games and activities outdoors. Sandra has taken on a leadership and mentorship role in Environmental Education in Rocky Mountain School District No. 6. She is has been on the Environmental Education Leadership Team for three years, and has been a leader in forming a Local Chapter of the Environmental Education Provincial Specialist Association.

Dr. Mel Reasoner, Nelson

Mel has been active in a variety of environmental educator capacities for many years. He is a climate scientist and passionate educator and change agent with respect to climate change. He has been an advisor to CBT’s Communities Adapting to Climate Change Initiative (CACCI) and was the key CACCI presenter when doing workshops with Basin. He was a key organizer of the Hot and Bothered conference in Nelson in 2016, presenting on climate science during that event. He is now continuing his climate science education role with the Trust’s new Climate Action Program.

Linda Out, Winlaw

Linda is an incredible and supportive teacher who is always engaging and encouraging environmental education in her school. As the grade 5/6 teacher at Winlaw Elementary School, Linda is exemplary in her dedication and motivation to include a wide variety of outdoor ecology programs into her classroom and to get her students outside to learn about their local bio-region.

She goes above the call of duty to implement and organize school outings and activities that are always informative and fun, and is a true supporter of Outdoor Education.

Janette Vickers, Revelstoke

Janette brings passion, dedication and professionalism to all her work as an environmental educator. A leader in her field, Janette is an innovative thinker and serves as a mentor on the Wildsight educator team. With over 18 years of experience in water education, Janette joined Wildsight’s Know Your Watershed development team in attending the CBEEN Leadership Clinic in 2015. Janette strives to bring real and relevant learning experiences to her students, empowering them with appreciation for the natural world, and the ability to become responsible stewards.




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