The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced six winners to receive the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators (PIAEE). The PIAEE awards recognize innovative educators who bring environmental education into their classrooms through hands-on, experiential approaches.
Shelley Glenn Lee, a teacher at High Tech Elementary North County in San Marcos, received an honorable mention. Lee is a board member of the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy, serving as Chair of the Education Committee.
“Through their work, these impressive educators and students demonstrate how community partnerships — between schools, business and government — can build and sustain environmental change,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Together, EPA and our partners are working to improve environmental literacy across the nation.”
Ms. Lee is an elementary science teacher with more than 20 years’ experience in environmental education who takes students from kindergarten through 5th grade into the field to conduct research, learn about local and global environmental issues, and share their work with others.
She has designed projects that engage students in studying San Diego’s biodiversity. In Kindergarten and First Grade, students focus on habitats such as tidepools, ponds, sandy beaches, and other water homes.
The students’ work has resulted in several publications, including a “Kindergarten Conservation Series,” a series of projects that integrate reading, writing, math, and art by challenging students to investigate their local habitat and promote conservation through publishing.