On April 25, 2019 more than 120 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 The Hilton Garden Inn and Conference Center in Victorville. Joining in the evening’s event to celebrate environmental and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education achievements of High Desert students and teachers was San Bernardino County First District Director Regina Weatherspoon-Bell, Town of Apple Valley Council Member Kari Leon and City of Hesperia Council Member Rebekah Swanson.
MEEC recognized Jonah Olson from Melva Davis Academy in Adelanto as its 2019 Teacher of the Year. MEEC also recognized Kyle Tomes of Baker Jr./Sr. High School, Baker along with Catherine Andre of Brentwood Elementary School, Victorville, as this years’ 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.
Below Teachers of Honor: L-R: Teacher of Excellence Kyle Tomes, Baker Jr/Sr. High School, Baker; Teacher of the Year, Jonah Olson, Melva Davis Academy, Adelanto; Teacher of Excellence, Catherine Andre, Brentwood Elementary, Victorville.
Seven 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.
Above: 2019 Students of the Year: Front Row (L-R): Lorelei Perry, George VPA, Adelanto; Matthew Melgoza, George VPA, Adelanto; Jaeda Hairston, Brentwood Elementary, Victorville. Back Row (L-R): Jose Aguilar, George VPA, Adelanto; Harriett Sherwin, Barstow High School, Barstow; Shaila Cardenas, Montara Elementary, Barstow; Katherine Umana, Montara Elementary, Barstow.
Five recipients of MEEC’s 2019 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 a closely related field.
Above: Front Row (L-R): Elle Lavichant, Barstow High School, Barstow; Clarissa Romero, Academy of Careers and Exploration, Helendale. Back Row (L-R): Justin Biendara, Granite Hills High School, Apple Valley; Erin Oliver, Hesperia High School, Hesperia; Sydney Fultz-Waters, Excelsior Charter School, Phelan