Apple Valley Educator Takes Home MEEC’s “Teacher of the Year” Award

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Apple Valley Educator Takes Home MEEC’s “Teacher of the Year” Award

On May 5, 2016, 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.

MEEC recognized Valerie Kimmel-Oliva from Desert Knolls Elementary School in Apple Valley as MEEC’s 2016 Teacher of the Year.  MEEC also recognized Pamela Chaires of Granite Hills High School, Apple Valley and John Kell of Daisy Gibson School, Palmdale, 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 and community members and selected by MEEC’s Executive Board.

MEEC Teacher of the Year

Teachers of Honor: L-R: Teacher of Excellence John Kell, Daisy Gibson School, Palmdale; Teacher of the Year, Valeria Kimmel-Oliva, Desert Knolls Elementary, Apple Valley and Teacher of  Excellence Pamela Chaires, Granite Hills High School, Apple Valley.

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 were nominated by their teachers and principals for their efforts in environmental leadership and stewardship.  Each student received a trophy, a $60 check and a $60 Staples gift card.

MEEC Student of the Year

2016 Students of the Year: Front Row (L-R):  Anthony Trujillo, Desert Knolls Elementary, Apple Valley; Nkechi Onyi, George Visual and Performing Arts Magnet School, Adelanto; Nikolaus Martinez, Baker Elementary, Baker; Julia Martinez, Yucca Valley High School, Yucca Valley; Lauryn Kell, Daisy Gibson School, Palmdale; Jessica Lopez, Brentwood Elementary, Victorville.  Back Row (L-R): Aurby Hirschhorn, Lucerne Valley Elementary, Lucerne Valley; Charlie Colbert, Vanguard Preparatory, Apple Valley; Kayla Allen, Granite Hills High School, Apple Valley.  Not Pictured: Skye Hansen, La Contenta Middle School, Yucca Valley.


Five recipients of MEEC’s 2016 High School Environmental/Science Scholarship Program were also recognized during the banquet.  Each recipient will receive a $2,000 scholarship towards their educational goals of pursuing a career in environmental science, engineering or closely related field.

MEEC Scholarship Winners

Scholarly Winners (L-R): Emilia Cloutman, Sultana High School, Hesperia; Sergio Silesky, Oak Hills High School, Oak Hills; Megan Ngo, Apple Valley High School, Apple Valley; Nadine Crosby, University Preparatory, Victorville.  Not Pictured: Yvette Rosales, Quartz Hill High School, Lancaster

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