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Mike Elrick Environmental Leadership Award

Mike-ElrickMike Elrick was an Upper Grand DSB teacher who demonstrated outstanding commitment and leadership in his work on environmental issues within our 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 our board. Mike role modeled environmentally friendly practices from biking to school to washing mugs for staff meetings. Mike passed away in November 2009 from lung cancer.

Each year, the UGDSB is honouring Mike’s memory with the “Mike Elrick Environmental Leadership Award” for staff and volunteers who have demonstrated environmental leadership within their school community or our school board.

The recipient of this award would be someone who demonstrates the following:

If you know of a UGDSB staff member or volunteer who you feel would be a worthy recipient of this award, please complete a nomination form in the spring when the application becomes available. The award recipient will get financial support for an environmental project or program within their school.

Mike Elrick Environmental Leadership Award 2017

For this year’s award we had 27 nominations of excellent candidates. The Award Committee, comprised of previous award recipients and nominees, curriculum leads and the board’s Environmental Sustainability Lead, had a difficult decision to make amongst so many deserving nominations.

This year’s winner is Chris van Beurden, a teacher at Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute. Last year’s recipient, Liz Hazlett, presented Chris with the award on June 16 at the school.

Chris van Beurden, a teacher at GCVI, is presented with the 2017 Mike Elrick Environmental Leadership Award.

Chris van Beurden (left), a teacher at GCVI, is presented with the 2017 Mike Elrick Environmental Leadership Award.

According to one of van Beurden’s colleagues, “Chris has been the lead teacher and steward of many environmental initiatives at GCVI. He is a role model for both staff and students. Chris has led our school to EcoSchool gold status for many years by involving the leadership of students from all grades. His classes complete the annual waste audit, he has encouraged students to be environmental activists, and he organizes our recycling program. Chris supports the students when they take on local initiatives such as saving the bees, eating bugs to fundraise to save the brown bat, conserving water, planting trees, greening of our campus… and the list goes on! Chris walks the talk. He is so deserving!”

We congratulate Chris, as well as all nominees this year for their inspiring efforts!

Past Winners of the Mike Elrick Environmental Leadership Award

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees for their Leadership in Environmental Action!