Kortright Hills PS teacher wins 2021 Mike Elrick Environmental Leadership Award
For Immediate Release
June 24, 2021
GUELPH, Ontario – A teacher from Kortright Hills Public School in Guelph has been awarded the Upper Grand District School Board’s Mike Elrick Environmental Leadership Award.
Teacher Cathy Dykstra is the 2021 recipient of the environmental award.
Now in its 12th year, the Mike Elrick Environmental Leadership Award is presented each year to a staff member or volunteer who has demonstrated environmental leadership within their school community or school board.
Mike Elrick was an Upper Grand teacher who demonstrated outstanding commitment and leadership in his work on environmental issues within the board. In addition to running the Community Environmental Leadership and Headwaters Programs for fifteen years, he also chaired the board-wide Environmental Issues Committee and was involved in numerous other initiatives within the UGDSB. Mike role modelled environmentally friendly practices from biking to school to washing mugs for staff meetings. Mike passed away in November 2009 from lung cancer.
The recipient of this award is someone who does one or more of the following:
- Drives environmental projects, earth week activities, or advises the environment club within their school
- Models numerous sustainable practices for students, like biking to school, bringing a litterless lunch, or using “good on one side paper”
- Infuses discourse and action on environmental issues into their teaching
- Demonstrates environmental leadership in other ways
This year, the UGDSB received 11 nominations of deserving candidates throughout the school board. The Award Committee, comprised of previous award recipients and nominees, curriculum leads and board staff, had a difficult decision to make.
Cathy is very active in the school and community when it comes to environmental issues and is most notably recognized for her contributions to the Water Rockers student group at Kortright Hills PS.
Cathy is being honoured for her years of dedication raising awareness of water, energy and environmental issues. Year over year, she engages her students in action projects on water conservation, energy literacy, and more.
With her guidance, over the years the Water Rockers have been the recipients of numerous Classroom Energy Diet Challenge awards. In 2019, Cathy was named the Canadian Geographic Energy Educator of the Year. She has facilitated National Geographic Educator Certification workshops for Upper Grand staff and has been described by many staff as an environmental mentor.
On June 24, Cathy was surprised with the news of the award. Members of the award selection committee, including last year’s winner Yvette Tendick and 2013 recipient Cory Lipovschek, presented the award to Cathy at her home.
Congratulations Cathy (pictured on the right below)!