Thursday, June 7, 2012

Donnelly Elementary School Teacher Garners White House Praise for Excellence

Deirdre Bingaman, a Donnelly Elementary School teacher, has been selected as one of 18 teachers nationwide to receive the President’s Innovation Award for Environmental Educators. Ms. Bingaman was selected for “her demonstrated excellence in focusing her class on environmental education projects that reflected real-life community challenges and creating a powerful connection between her students and the natural world.”

The President’s Innovation Award for Environmental Educators recognizes and supports teachers from both rural and urban education settings who make use of experiential and environmental opportunities that use creativity and community engagement to help students develop a sense of civic responsibility and stewardship in ecosystems. The prestigious award is bestowed by the White House Council on Environmental Quality in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“Ms. Bingaman earned this honor the ‘old fashioned way’,” said Kate Kelly, Director of EPA’s Office of Ecosystems, Tribal and Public Affairs in Seattle. “By working hard to demonstrate inspiring leadership and deliver excellence in environmental education, all the while sparking her students’ imagination with challenges and adventures beyond the traditional classroom.”

Diedre Bingaman’s fifth grade classes have worked as equal partners on a range of environmental projects with area professionals. Bingaman started the Boulder Creek Project in 2008 after learning that the State identified a nearby stream as suffering poor water quality. Her classes compiled stream information, applied scientific methods to answer tough questions, and then presented final results to the City Council and community members. Bingaman’s students have also analyzed the school recycling program and are part of a Idaho elementary school effort to report their recycling results online to help calculate statewide results.

This year’s winning teachers' programs range from field studies in watershed and wetland science in New England to the study of clean energy sources in Colorado and ocean and climate science in Texas, forest ecology and trout studies in the Pacific Northwest and water resource management projects in the desert. 

For more information about the other winners please visit:

For more information about this program please visit:



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