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On May 4, 2017, more than 100 educators, students and business leaders convened for the annual Mojave Environmental Education Consortium’s Teacher and Student of the Year Awards and Recognition Banquet, which took place at Spring Valley Lake Country Club in Victorville.  Attending the evening’s event to celebrate environmental and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education achievements of High Desert students and teachers were San Bernardino County First District Supervisor Robert Lovingood and Field Representative to Assemblyman Obernolte, Isis Fuentes.

MEEC recognized Aneek daGama from Fulton and Alsbury Academy of Arts & Engineering in Lancaster as MEEC’s 2017 Teacher of the Year.  MEEC also recognized John Kell of Daisy Gibson School, Palmdale, along with Venessa Smith of Excelsior Charter School, Victorville as this year’s runner –up Teachers of Excellence.  In recognition of their dedication and hard work in fostering environmental awareness in the classroom, the teachers each received a cash prize, plaque and goodie bags bursting with office supplies donated by MEEC sponsor 3M, Oak Hills.   Winners were nominated by their principals, colleagues or community members and selected by MEEC’s Executive Board.

2017 Teachers of Honor

 Teachers of Honor: L-R: Teacher of Excellence John Kell, Daisy Gibson School, Palmdale; Teacher of the Year, Aneek daGama, Fulton and Alsbury Academy of Arts & Engineering, Lancaster.  (Not pictured:  Venessa Smith, Excelsior Charter School, Victorville)

Ten High Desert students were also recognized as MEEC Students of the Year during the event in recognition of their commitment to promoting environmental awareness and positive change within their schools and communities.  The students who were nominated by their teachers or principals each received a trophy, a $60 check and a $60 Staples gift card.

2017 Student of the Year

 2017 Students of the Year: Front Row (L-R):  Devin Bayless, Quail Valley Middle School, Phelan;  Natalie Soto, Rancho Verde Elementary School, Apple Valley; Monica Sandoval, Fulton and Alsbury Academy of Arts & Engineering, Lancaster; Sophia Hawk, Village Elementary School, Victorville;  Ashley Guzman, Yucca Loma Elementary School, Apple Valley.  Back Row (L-R): Chevelle Clark, Quail Valley Middle School, Phelan; Morgan Brafford, Yucca Valley High School Yucca Valley; Ruben Gonzalez, Daisy Gibson School, Palmdale.  (Not pictured: Lia Kim, Apple Valley High School, Apple Valley and Jocelyn Munoz, Brentwood Elementary School, Victorville)

Five recipients of MEEC’s 2017 High School Environmental/Science Scholarship Program were also recognized during the banquet.  Each recipient will receive a $2,500 scholarship towards their educational goals of pursuing a career in environmental science, engineering or closely related field.

2017 Scholarship Winners

 Field Representative for Assemblyman Obernolte, Isis Fuentes  (left) and San Bernardino County First District Supervisor Robert Lovingood   (second from left) with MEEC’s “Scholarly” Winners (from left) : Jared Dinisi, Sultana High School, Hesperia;  Lily Nauta, Highland High School, Palmdale;  Melanie Rodrigues , University Preparatory, Victorville; Alondra Navarro, Silverado High School, Victorville;  Alyssa Thielen, Apple Valley High School, Apple Valley.

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