Heather Berry, environmental science teacher, was recently recognized at the White House and given the Presidential Innovation Award for environmental science. She was one of ten teachers to win the award and one of 18 teachers to be recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Berry has taught AP environmental science here at HR for seven years. The reason she started teaching it was because of its relevance. “I was looking at the curriculum for the class and what I really like about it is that it’s current events, it’s everything that’s happening right now. I love that we can learn about something and then we can go outside and see it and make a difference,” said Berry.
When Berry was applying for this award, she included information about the sustainability projects that she does with her students, as well as the partnership they are doing with a school in Taiwan, and her work with the district to create awareness in other schools. “We do a series of projects where you take a problem and come up with a solution, for example, a species protection plan- find out why it’s in danger and come up with a plan that would fit with where that animal is how could we work with the government” said Berry. In an article for DCSD, Gina McCarthy, EPA Administrator, said “Environmental education cultivates our next generation of leaders by teaching them how to apply skills in creativity and innovation. I have no doubt that teachers and students like these will someday solve some of our most complex and important issues.”
To receive the award, Berry and her family were invited to Washington DC. She got to tour all of the famous monuments and even went to the zoo and saw a panda for the first time. Berry also got to tour the White House and see the Vice President’s office and the library. The award ceremony was held there, with many speakers such as the head of the EPA and the head of education.
As far as the award, Berry got to take home a Presidential plaque, as well as some funding for the projects she does with her students, and some money for continuing education.
Lexi Crea, Social Media Editor