Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators
Application period for the 2013 Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators closed January 31, 2013.
The Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators recognizes outstanding kindergarten through grade 12 teachers who employ innovative approaches to environmental education and use the environment as a context for learning for their students. Up to two teachers from each of EPA's 10 regions, from different states, will be selected to receive this award. The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administers this award to nationally honor, support and encourage educators who incorporate environmental education in their classrooms & teaching methods.
About the Award
- Teacher awardees will receive a commemorative plaque and an award of $2,000 to be used to further the recipient's professional development in environmental education.
- The teacher's local education agency will also receive an award of $2,000 to fund environmental educational activities and programs of the teacher (and not for construction costs, general expenses, salaries, bonuses, or other administrative expenses).
To be eligible for the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators, teachers must meet the following eligibility requirements.
- Teach K-12 on a full-time basis in a public school that is operated by a local education agency1 , including schools funded by the Bureau of Indian Affairs
- Hold a current teaching license from the state (or valid reciprocity from the state for a license from another state)
- Have a minimum of 5 years of K-12 teaching experience, including at least 3 years of teaching environmental education and/or an environment-based curriculum
- Anticipate a classroom teaching assignment involving environmental education for the upcoming school year
- Be a citizen of the United States, its territories or possessions, or lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residency2
- Has not been a recipient of this award in the past 5 years
1 For this program, a local education agency is one as defined by section 198 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (now codified at 20 U.S.C. 7801(26)).
2 The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services defines lawful permanent residency as any person not a citizen of the United States who is residing in the United States under legally recognized and lawfully recorded permanent residence as an immigrant, also known as "Permanent Resident Alien," "Resident Alien Permit Holder," and "Green Card Holder."
Teachers must have an outstanding record of teaching, as described below. Applications will be judged by their responses to each of these six factors:
- To what extent does the teacher demonstrate active support and involvement in environmental education through innovative approaches in his or her school or the community?
- To what extent does the teacher utilize outdoor, experiential, or place-based learning?
- To what extent does the teacher's work result in demonstrated student achievement of improved grades or test scores, class involvement, or positive behavior change?
- Where applicable, to what extent are the teacher's students continuing further participating in the environmental field through environmental, conservation, or science extracurricular activities and/or projects?
- Serving the Underserved
- To what extent does the teacher work with students who are disproportionately impacted by environmental pollution? This may include minority, low-income, or indigenous communities or populations.
- To what extent does the teacher tailor his or her methods to serve the diverse needs of the student population being taught or advised?
- To what extent does the teacher successfully extend environmental education beyond his or her classroom?
- To what extent does the teacher serve as an inspiration or example in other classrooms and grade levels at his or her school, at other schools within his or her school district, or beyond?
- To what extent does the teacher involve students' parents/guardians and/or members of the surrounding community in the teacher's environmental education activities?
- To what extent does the teacher demonstrate leadership in the field of environmental education through activities such as mentoring, community involvement, and/or networking in support of environmental education?
- To what extent does the teacher express a commitment to fulfilling a vision for the support and advancement of environmental education?
- To what extent does the teacher integrate environmental education into the broader school curriculum, including science, physical education, history or social studies, and art, music, or language arts?
Applications will be reviewed according to the EPA Region in which the teacher's school is located by a panel composed of internal and/or external reviewers. The panel will rank the applications according to how well they meet or exceed the criteria, using a 10 to 20-point scale for each factor, and make recommendations to EPA and CEQ.
During the review period, teachers may be asked to provide additional information or documentation to verify their eligibility, such as proof of a minimum of 5 years employment as a teacher, with their local education agency, and 3 years of teaching environmental education and/or environment-based curriculum. The teacher's response to the request for additional information must be received within 14 days from the date the request is sent; if the information is not received by that date, the application will not be considered further.
EPA reserves the right to reject all applications in one or more of the EPA regions and to make no awards in those region(s) under this announcement. In addition, EPA reserves the right to make fewer than two awards in one or more regions. If EPA decides to make fewer than two awards in one or more regions, it will do so in a manner that does not prejudice any applicant or affect the basis upon which the applicants were evaluated or selected for award and maintains the integrity of the competition and the evaluation and selection process.
How to Apply
The deadline for submitting applications for the 2013 Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators was January 31, 2013.
For complete details, please review the application process and application packet provided below.
Winners and Honorable Mentions
2013 award recipients were announced in May 2013.