Recipients presented with awards at CBEEN’s Annual Gathering at Whatshan Lake Retreat on September 21 (Left to Right & Top to Bottom: Kate Ruoss, Jenn Means, Doris Hausleitner, Laurie Neeve, Melissa Flint). (CBEEN file)

Kimberley educators recognized by CBEEN for environmental education

Three Kimberley educators are recipients of CBEEN’s 2019 Awards of Excellence

Kimberley educators are being recognized by the Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN) for their excellence in encouraging stewardship and sustainability through environmental education.

Other educators in the Columbia Basin are also being recognized, with a total of nine awards given out.

Kimberly educators receiving the CBEEN 2019 Awards of Excellence include Ingrid Liepa, Laurie Neeve and Jenn Means.

According to a press release from CBEEN, Liepa is being recognized for her leadership in climate change education and action across communities in the region.

“Ingrid Liepa has been an environmental educator for many years. She has a diverse background that encompasses a wide range of organizations. She has undertaken climate change education in the Columbia Basin wearing many hats, including Columbia Basin Trust’s Climate Action Program, Wild Voices for Kids, Basin-Boundary Climate Adaptation and Innovation Project, and the Communities adapting to Climate Change Initiative. She has also been on CBEEN’s board for the last 5 years,” explained CBEEN.

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Neeve is receiving the award for consistently leading by example as an intermediate teacher and through her leadership with the Rocky Mountain Place-based Learning Network.

“Laurie Neeve blends her love of the outdoors and passion for teaching everyday. She continuously tries to find new and innovative ways to bring placed based/inquiry learning to her teaching practice. In the words of one of her students, ‘Mrs Neeve is the most outdoor ‘naturey’ teacher I have ever had. She made learning fun. I love when she took us outside’,” said the press release.

Means is being recognized for her passion and willingness to share through her role as a secondary teacher and through her leadership with the Rocky Mountain Place-based Learning Network.

“Jenn Means is a passionate environmental educator who has spear-headed getting students outside at Selkirk Secondary School,” said CBEEN’s release. “She connects her students to community partners helping them develop a relationship with professionals who do work in this area; thus connecting them even further into the value of community stewardship. She connects her students to younger students in the community through cross-school activities as well.”

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Other basin winners include Joe Pierre of Cranbrook/ʔaq̓am, Melissa Flint of Creston, Kate Ruoss of Cranbrook and Doris Hausleitner of Castlegar.

These recipients are nominated by their peers and nominations are reviewed and adjudicated by a committee made up of past recipients.

CBEEN Director and Awards Committee Representative, Janet Kuijt, said that “Being part of the CBEEN Awards of Excellence Review Committee begins as a daunting task but always leaves me inspired. It is a such a wonderful celebration of the continuous growth of environmental education in our region as well as the incredible educators who are leading these amazing initiatives.”

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