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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Thursday, June 2, 2016

Santa Barbara County Teachers Awarded Care for Our Earth Grants


SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Hundreds of local business and community leaders and educators helped celebrate the teachers who earned this year’s Care for Our Earth Grants, as part of the annual Santa Barbara County Education Celebration held at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott on Thursday, May 26. Thirty-eight teachers — spanning 26 Santa Barbara County schools — won the 2015-2016 grants, awarded by the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District, Santa Barbara County Education Office, Santa Barbara County Water Agency, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, and Southern California Gas Company.

“Our local partners recognize that an investment in education today, and support of our teachers, pays dividends down the road,” said Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools, Bill Cirone. “Public education is the cornerstone of our democracy, and teachers are the keepers of the dream and are our true community heroes. We congratulate all of this year’s grant recipients and award winners, and thank our many generous community partners, including county agencies and utility companies in Santa Barbara County, for their strong support of our teachers. It sends a message to teachers that they are valued and appreciated while enabling them to enrich the academic experience for local school children.”

Every year, the county agencies and utility companies offer mini-grants to K-12 teachers to conduct classroom science projects that reduce pollution and save energy and water. The grants support the District’s clean-air mission and have helped thousands of local students understand concepts related to the environment, energy, and alternative transportation. The schools also benefit from reduced energy and water costs and less traffic.

A full list of the 2015-2016 winners, with brief project descriptions, is below:

• Kristin Anderson, Maple High School, Lompoc Unified School District: “Drought Through History — Then and Now”
• Sarah Barthel, Lompoc High School, Lompoc Unified School District: “Water-Wise”
• Michelle Bayly, Fesler Junior High School, Santa Maria-Bonita School District: “Harnessing the Sun”
• Laura Branch, Ernest Righetti High School, Santa Maria Joint Union High School District: “Be Cool — Cut CO2 by Walking to School OR Seeing Us Driving a Prius!”
• Teri Briggs, Goleta Family School, Goleta Union School District: “Rain for Restoration”
• Kelly Christiansen, El Camino School, Goleta Union School District: “Water Wise Gardening (#3)”
• Zak Claycamp, Maple High School, Lompoc Unified School District: “Drought (Caring for Our Earth…)”
• LoriLee Collins, Carpinteria Family School, Carpintiera Unified School District, “Rain Rain Do Not Go Away Stay Around for Another Day”
• Megan Cotich, La Colina Junior High School, Santa Barbara Unified School District: “Carbon Dioxide Reduction Proposal”
• Holly DeKorte, Benjamin Foxen School, Blochman Union School District: “The World More Beautiful”
• Jennifer Elliott, Santa Ynez School, College School District: “Chumash Uses of Native Plants”
• Doug English, Maple High School, Lompoc Unified School District: “Drought Through History — Then and Now”
• Gretchen Flaherty, Lompoc High School, Lompoc Unified School District: “Dryland/Water Saving Landscape”
• Sandy Garcia, Ernest Righetti High School, Santa Maria Joint Union High School District: “Chatting About Energy”
• Rob Goettler, San Marcos High School, Santa Barbara Unified School District: “Plant-Foods Diets for a Better Planet”
• Chad Hartford, Tunnell School, Santa Maria-Bonita School District: “Solar Cars”
• Laura Ishikawa, Hilltop Program, Santa Barbara County Education Office: “Keeping Our Garden Green”
• LeeAnn Knodel, Santa Barbara High School, Santa Barbara Unified School District: “Ban the Bag — Phase II
• Andrea Lauderdale, Vieja Valley School, Hope School District: “We Won’t Waste Water Challenge”
• Kristen Lohr, Ida Redmond Taylor School, Santa Maria-Bonita School District: “Taylor Timber Wolves Walk and Roll”
• Matt Makowetski, Maple High School, Lompoc Unified School District: “Drought Through History — Then and Now”
• Linda Mayer, Santa Ynez Valley Charter School, College School District: “Sunny Science: Solar Powered Oven”
• Kelly McDonald, Solvang School, Solvang School District: “Water Wise Landscaping”
• Mark Mitchell, Maple High School, Lompoc Unified School District: “Drought from the Scientific Perspective”
• Estela Montes, Arthur Hapgood School, Lompoc Unified School District: “Reducing Waste to Create Rich Soil”
• Devon Nelson, Harding University Partnership School, Santa Barbara Unified School District: “Sing for Our Earth!”
• Caryn Parker, Canalino School, Carpinteria Unified School District: “Why Walk?”
• Rachel Renkoski, Fesler Junior High School, Santa Maria-Bonita School District: “Pedal Power!”
• Carlota Romero, David J. Sanchez Elementary School, Santa Maria-Bonita School District: “One Drop at a Time”
• Richard Rowe, Taylor School, Santa Maria-Bonita School District: “Thermostat/Light Monitors”
• Annette Shimamura, Santa Ynez School, College School District: “Paths of the Bobcats!”
• Tammy Shorb, Hope School, Hope School District: “Smart Water Succulent Garden”
• Cathy Smith, Patterson Road School, Orcutt Union School District: “Water Conservation and Campus Beautification”
• Cheryl Spence, Benjamin Foxen School, Blochman Union School District: “Green Trees for a Green Earth”
• Valerie Trenev, Alice Shaw School, Orcutt Union School District: “The Trash Caddy”
• Anne Welker, Fesler Junior High School, Santa Maria-Bonita School District: “Harnessing the Sun”
• Sharon Ybarra, Ida Redmond Taylor School, Santa Maria-Bonita School District: “How’s Our Air?”
• Shannon Yorke, La Colina Junior High School, Santa Barbara Unified School District: “Carbon Dioxide Reduction Proposal”

Contact

For photos from the event, visit www.ourair.org/060116-news/.

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