Island teachers recognized for environmental education
Two Prince Edward Island teachers are among the world’s best in getting their students informed and engaged about the environment.
Teachers Heather Pringle and Chris Higginbotham from Three Oaks Senior High School in Summerside have been inducted into the National Conservation Foundations’ Envirothon Hall of Fame. They and their students have won the right since 2004 to represent Prince Edward Island 12 times at the international Environthon, an annual science-based competition for high school-aged students throughout North America and China held each summer.
“I was shocked and incredibly humbled when Heather Pringle and I were presented with the 2018 Envirothon Hall of Fame Award," Chris Higgenbotham said. "There are so many others who are deserving of this recognition. But I want to recognize all of our amazing students who have kept us motivated and energized because they are the reason we continue to be involved in Envirothon year after year."
The Three Oaks team won the right to represent the province at this year’s Envirothon by competing against 48 students from seven Island high schools last year. At the 2018 event, PEI’s team had its best finish ever, coming 19th overall in a field of 51 teams from the United States, Canada and China. Prince Edward Island finished 2nd to Ontario among Canadian teams.
“These two teachers deserve our thanks for their exceptional efforts to help Island students gain a better understanding of the environment,” Communities, Land and Environment Minister Richard Brown said. “Our department is pleased to assist our educators by working with experts in different fields to develop resources and learning activities that help students appreciate the complexity and beauty of the natural world that we all share. “
Three Oaks will compete against other Island high schools at the upcoming Provincial Forest Envirothon in October. The winning team will represent Prince Edward Island at the International Envirothon in North Carolina next July.
“Programs such as Envirothon happen outside the classroom so teachers such as Chris and Heather are to be commended for taking their personal time to work with their students,” said Education, Early Learning and Culture Minister Jordan Brown, “This program gets students out into the environment to learn from the people who deal with natural resources every day. The knowledge and insights they gather will help them become better stewards of our environment for current and future generations.”