Mike Elrick Environmental Leadership Award
Mike 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:
- Drives environmental projects, such as 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
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 2022
A former employee of the Upper Grand District School Board with laser-focus dedication to the environment, Karen Acton, is the recipient of the 2022 Mike Elrick Environmental Leadership Award.
For the last twelve years, the Mike Elrick Environmental Leadership Award is presented each year to a staff member or volunteer who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to environmental leadership within their school community or school board.
Before stepping into her role, as environmental sustainability lead for the UGDSB, Acton was principal at Ken Danby Public School. In Acton’s current position, she has implemented and championed many green initiatives such as, helping both elementary and secondary schools acquire their EcoSchool certification – including back in 2019 which saw that all UGDSB schools had achieved EcoSchool certification for the second year in a row. She’s awarded schools for their green initiative efforts, and created waste audits for schools to participate in so they are aware of the most effective ways to help decrease their school’s generation of waste.
Acton has shown that her passion for the environment and teacher leadership extends past just her UGDSB community. She currently teaches at the University of Toronto, and her research interests have included, effecting positive change in the areas of principal and teacher leadership, social and eco justice, and ultimately student well-being and success.
Past Winners of the Mike Elrick Environmental Leadership Award
Congratulations to all the winners and nominees for their Leadership in Environmental Action!
- Winner 2022 Karen Acton
- Winner 2021 Cathy Dykstra
- Winner 2020 Yvette Tendick
- Winner 2019 Kim Gordon
- Winner 2018 Heather Cameron
- Winner 2017 Chris van Beurden
- Winner 2016 Liz Hazlett
- Winner 2015 Patsy Collier
- Winner 2014 Greg Smith
- Winner 2013 Cory Lipovschek
- Winner 2012 Mike Anderson
- Winner 2011 Sheila Koop
- Winner 2010 Barb Kidd