On January 20, 2011, the Chesapeake Bay Trust announced its 2011 Annual Awards Program winners, including its Environmental Educator of the Year, Student of the Year and Honorable Arthur Dorman Scholarship recipient.
At a ceremony held in the Miller Senate Office Building in Annapolis, members of the Maryland General Assembly were joined by Chesapeake Bay Trust partners and supporters as they honored these exceptional individuals and their contributions to environmental education, community outreach and civic engagement.
“Educating and engaging the next generation of Bay stewards is crucial to the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams,” said Allen Hance, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Trust. “This Maryland teacher and these two talented Maryland students exemplify what it means to be environmentally literate: every day, they translate scientific knowledge and environmental values into actions that are making a difference for the Bay and their local communities.”
The Trust awarded its 2011 Environmental Educator of the Year to Susie Peeling, a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Resource Teacher at Pleasant Plains Elementary, Lutherville Lab and Halstead Academy in Baltimore County. Peeling is an educator who uses the rigorous STEM curriculum and outdoor educational experiences on school grounds and through field trips as a platform for increasing environmental literacy and improving student achievement. Working with diverse student populations in Title I schools, Peeling’s approach is yielding measurable results. In addition to a cash award of $2,500, Peeling also has an opportunity to apply for a $5,000 grant to be used for environment projects and programs within her schools.
The Trust’s Honorable Arthur Dorman Scholarship was awarded to Jillian Tse, a senior at Paint Branch High School in Montgomery County, for her exceptional work at Paint Branch and throughout the broader community. The $5,000 Arthur Dorman Scholarship is presented each year to a minority student who shows an exemplary commitment to improving the health of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and who exhibits leadership in promoting diversity, inclusion, and tolerance for individuals of all backgrounds. Tse, an honors student, is an active member of Eco-exist, the environmental club at her school and has, both as a volunteer and an employee, helped advance local environmental education and community-clean up efforts.
The recipient of the Trust’s 2011 Student of the Year Scholarship is Emily Peterson, a senior at South Carroll High in Carroll County, who is honored for her outstanding commitment to environmental stewardship, Chesapeake Bay restoration, and civic engagement at South Carroll High and throughout her local community. Peterson, the winner of this $5,000 scholarship, is an accomplished honors student, the founder of her school’s environmental club, a national leader for the Green Schools Youth Summit and Vice President of Sustainability for Venturing Crew.
Each year the Trust makes six awards to Marylanders for a variety of environmental leadership roles and educational achievements. In addition to the Teacher of the Year, Student of the Year and Honorable Arthur Dorman Scholarship, the Trust announces recipients of its Dr. Torrey Brown Award (for Bay leadership), the Ellen Fraites Wagner Award (for an exceptional Bay Steward) and the Melanie Teems Award (for an outstanding Trust grant project) in the spring. The Trust’s awards program was launched in 1998 with each year more and more applications being submitted to the program.
“We are thrilled to recognize these exceptional individuals not only for the work they are doing to improve Chesapeake Bay and its waterways, but also for their efforts to educate others on the importance of civic involvement and community activism,” said Tara Potter, Trust Board Chair and Assistant Vice President of Government Affairs for Verizon. “These awardees aren’t just sitting around waiting for change to happen; they are out there doing it, making a difference and inspiring others to act.”