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Teacher Dominick DeRosa from Kansas City, Kan., to Receive Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators

Release Date: 05/07/2013
Contact Information: Denise Morrison, 913-551-7402, morrison.denise@epa.gov

Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Lenexa, Kan., May 7, 2013) - Dominick DeRosa, a teacher from F.L. Schlagle High School in Kansas City, Kan., has been named the recipient of a 2013 Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators, EPA Region 7 announced today.

The Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators recognizes outstanding kindergarten through grade 12 teachers who employ innovative approaches to environmental education and use the environment as a learning context for their students. Up to two teachers from each of EPA’s 10 regions were selected to receive this award. The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), in partnership with EPA, administers this award to honor educators who incorporate environmental education in their classrooms and teaching methods.

DeRosa’s award recognizes his leadership and initiative in starting the Project Green team, a group of students, staff and parents who are directly involved in helping to educate and lead the way to reducing F.L. Schlagle High School’s carbon footprint.

DeRosa is integrating environmental education into other courses to teach students more than just science. Students learn environmental stewardship skills and how environmental issues affect their lives. Students carry these skills into adulthood.

DeRosa has worked for years to incorporate environmental education into his science classes. He has created an earth and space science curriculum to teach students about climate change, energy and air quality. This curriculum is being taught throughout the district, not just at F.L. Schlagle High School. This course began as a sophomore level class and has become an elective for students. DeRosa is working to add a college level environmental education class to give students an opportunity to earn early college credit.

DeRosa serves on the Science Curriculum and Science Advisory committees for District 500 Kansas City, Kan., Schools. He was a main author of developing new pacing guide/standards for a revised earth/space science course implemented this year. He has been involved in increasing the number of students taking earth and space science classes. Now nearly every student takes earth and space science as part of the science sequence prior to graduation.

DeRosa also is a member of the school’s Literacy Team, an organizer of the F.L.Schlagle Day of Caring, and attends workshops to learn about cyberbullying, financial aid and college planning. He has been instrumental in including more environmental education in math and science courses to strengthen relationships between math and science teachers at all levels of education.

DeRosa, like all other recipients of the 2013 Presidential Innovation Awards for Environmental Educators, will receive a commemorative plaque and $2,000 to be used to further his professional development in environmental education. Each recipient’s school or local education agency also receives $2,000 to fund environmental educational activities and programs.

Applications for the 2014 Presidential Innovation Awards for Environmental Educators are due by January 31, 2014. For more information about the award program, contact Jennifer Bowman at bowman.jennifer@epa.gov.

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