Teachers of the Month

October, 2011
Associated Earth Team Programs:
Restoration Action Project

Patrick Oliver

Mount Diablo H.S.

Mr. Patrick Oliver teaches AP Environmental Science and Biology at Mount Diablo High School in Concord CA, where he has taught for the past 6 years.  He is the faculty advisor to the Environmental Club, a Teacher's Union representative and organizer, and is an elected member of  the Site Council, the governing body of the school. Oliver has worked in the environment and with young people for many years, including service with the Nature Conservancy in 1992. Beginning in 1995 he worked with
Greenpeace, and in 1998 started a non-profit environmental education service for at-risk youth, Eco-PREP.  He has since worked as Crew Leader with the Student Conservation Association. He has been a credentialed classroom science teacher since 2005.

Mr. Oliver has been very active with EarthTeam programs over the past several years, participating in EarthTeam's Restoration Initiative.  He is always taking initiative on ensuring that his AP Environmental Science students make it out to the Dow Wetlands to conduct real field science: "I want to thank you and the ET crew for helping me pull together an amazing field trip to the Dow wetlands with my summer school class from the Oakland Military Institute. Krist [from Dow Wetlands] was great, as usual, and the kids were really amazing workers.  Actually it really was the best trip ever, especially with the new trail they have out there...I would love to (further) tap into your resources and hopefully get our kids more connected to your programs."

 Patrick has been a joy to work with; he is a dedicated teacher who takes any extra effort possible to ensure that his students have a an enriching variety of classes and field trips through Mt. Diablo HS.  He's also an avid climber and outdoorsman, appreciating the landscape and habitat about which he teaches so passionately to the next generation.  Kudos to Patrick!

April, 2011
Associated Earth Team Programs:
Restoration Action Project, Waste Action Project

Tracy Ostrom

Skyline High School

Mrs. Tracy Ostrom has been teaching science for fourteen years. She has been at Skyline High School for six years teaching Honors Chemistry, college prep Chemistry, and now Environmental Chemistry and AP Environmental Science. This academic year she took on the added responsibility of establishing the Green Energy Academy in order to provide students with an opportunity to succeed in green energy careers and post-secondary green energy education.

Mrs. Ostrom has been very active with EarthTeam programs over the past several years, participating in EarthTeam's Restoration Initiative, the Climate Action Campaign, and Waste Action Project. Tracy works closely with EarthTeam staff to provide her students with engaging projects to stimulate critical thinking and the process of scientific endeavors. From ecological restoration projects along Sausal Creek to involvement in 350.org's International Day of Climate Action, Mrs. Ostrom enhances her already phenomenal curricula with EarthTeam's programming. Tracy is given this award for her commitment to inspiring passion for the sciences in her students and developing future green energy leaders. She manages to juggle her workload and give so much, while also being wonderfully sweet to work with.  Congratulations to her for her outstanding accomplishments and integrative approaches in science education!

March, 2011
Associated Earth Team Programs:
Restoration Action Project

Katie Noonan

Oakland High School

Congratulations to Katie Noonan for being awarded EarthTeam's Teacher of the Month Award for March of 2011. EarthTeam has worked closely with Katie over the past several years with our Eco-Stewards program and our "Something is In The Air" asthma awareness program. Katie has been such a phenomenal teacher to work with for EarthTeam staff. Her indomitable spirit, selflessness, and commitment to exceptional educational experiences for her students make her an ideal award winner of Teacher of the Month. We are particularly impressed by her consummate desire to go beyond the education standards and get her students involved in service learning projects where students can learn by engaging in real-world projectsthat expand upon curriculum learned in the classroom. This is exemplified by her weekly trips to Lake Merrit to study water quality with her students, trips to Costa Rica over the Summer, and her involvement in the Eco-Stewards program. This year Katie has been bringing out her sophomore biology students and Junior ESA students to help restore Sausal Creek with EarthTeam and Friends of Sausal Creek staff.

November, 2010
Associated Earth Team Programs:
Restoration Action Project

Julie Edwards

Emery Secondary

Last year, working with Mr. Fishman at San Lorenzo HS, Julie participated with her students in all of the major ET restoration events, including MLK Jr. day, Cesar Chavez Day, Coastal Cleanup Day, the 350.org event at Mt. Diablo, and the Greening the Holidays event. 

"It was great to have such dedicated teachers as Julie come out on the MLK Jr. Day, considering the nearly constant downpour. Most other eventswere cancelled, but I figured if EarthTeam came, we would see the most dedicated teachers and students there too. It ended up being great experience, we planted over 100 plants at the marsh, the rain eventually did clear up, and we enjoyed some nature art with Zach Pine and some pizza." - Kevin Sherill, former ET Restoration Program Director.
Julie has been teaching for the past five years, four of which were spent at San Lorenzo HS, where she helped Mr. Fishman to start the new Green Academy program there. This year, Julie is excited about getting green in her first year with Emery HS, in Emeryville. Julie took a waste audit, provided by EarthTeam, to the next level, creating a curriculum for her Environmental Science classes to run a full lab report. Her classes compared lunch waste at Emery High School to that of the middle school.
"I'm excited about the green wave that's growing at Emery this year. Thanks to IISME and DonorsChoose, I have the resources for each of my environmental science students to design and implement a research project collecting data related to environmental quality. And just today we had the first meeting of our new student "Green Team" -- a group of students excited to bring gardening, food waste recycling, and community clean-up events to our campus. This is thanks in part to inspiration from the waste audit that [EarthTeam] helped us to do."
October, 2010
Associated Earth Team Programs:
Restoration Action Project

Alan Fishman

San Lorenzo H.S.

Mr. Fishman is a teacher at San Lorenzo High School where he has taught for the past 17 years. He and his students have been involved with EarthTeam for the past four years in a variety of EarthTeam's programs. This year his sophomore E.L.A. class is undertaking an Eco-Stewards Project at Eden Landing, for which students will take a hands-on approach to restoring the salt evaporation ponds along the Hayward shoreline. 
"Mr. Alan Fishman has been a phenomenal teacher to work with for our Restoration Program. His positive attitude and willingness to go above and beyond the required is a testament to the devotion and care he takes in educating his students. From volunteering his hours on the weekend for our Restoration Events and coordinating student volunteers for special events, it is always a pleasure to work with such a thoughtful and dedicated individual." -Kevin Sherrill, former Restoration Director, EarthTeam

 Alan is incredibly dedicated to involving his students in their community, and connecting them with local organizations and nonprofits in different service-learning projects. This year, for example, his sophomore E.L.A. class is undertaking an Eco-Stewards Project at Eden Landing, whereby students will partake in a series of restoration field days and classroom presentations focused on restoring the salt evaporation ponds.

His enthusiasm for his teaching and the environment is also contagious - he and his students always make their presence felt with their high spirits and sense of teamwork at our Big Restoration Events (MLK Jr. Day, Cesar Chavez Day, etc.), and we look forward to continuing to work with and support him and San Lorenzo HS in the years to come!