Mike Elrick Environmental Leadership Award

Mike ElrickMike Elrick was an Upper Grand DSB teacher who demonstrated outstanding commitment and leadership in his work on environmental issues within our board. In addition to running the Community Environmental Leadership and Headwaters Programs for fifteen years, he also chaired the board-wide Environmental Issues Committee and was involved in numerous other initiatives within our board. Mike role modeled environmentally friendly practices from biking to school to washing mugs for staff meetings. Mike passed away in November 2009 from lung cancer.

Each year, the UGDSB is honouring Mike's memory with the "Mike Elrick Environmental Leadership Award" for staff and volunteers who have demonstrated environmental leadership within their school community or our school board.

The recipient of this award would be someone who demonstrates the following:

  • Drives environmental projects, such as earth week activities, or advises the environment club within their school
  • Models numerous sustainable practices for students, like biking to school, bringing a litterless lunch, or using "good on one side paper"
  • Infuses discourse and action on environmental issues into their teaching
  • Demonstrates environmental leadership in other ways

If you know of a UGDSB staff member or volunteer who you feel would be a worthy recipient of this award, please complete a nomination form in the spring when the application becomes available. The award recipient will get financial support for an environmental project or program within their school.

Mike Elrick Environmental Leadership Award 2016

For this year's award we had 20 nominations of excellent candidates. The Award Committee, comprised of previous award recipients and nominees, curriculum leads and the board’s Environmental Sustainability Lead, had a difficult decision to make amongst so many deserving nominations.

This year’s winner is Liz Hazlett, a teacher at Mitchell Woods Public School.

Liz Hazlett wins Mike Elrick Environmental Leadership Award for 2016

Photo: Last year’s winner Patsy Collier presenting this year’s winner Liz Hazlett with her award.

Liz embodies "green awareness" in every aspect of her teaching and personal lifestyle. She has spearheaded the school’s environmental club for countless years, inspiring them to be environmentally-friendly citizens. Under her guidance, Mitchell Woods PS has consistently achieved Gold EcoSchool status. Liz is an amazing role model for not only the students but also the staff and parent community. Recently the staff room at Mitchell Woods PS finally won the school’s Green Grouch Award. This means that the staff sorted their garbage and recycling properly, just like the students are encouraged to do in their classrooms.

Liz models environmental stewardship in everything she does. She rides her bike or walks to school every day. She always has litterless lunches and she encourages her colleagues to help the environment. She is known to buy people a travel mug so that they stop using the disposable, non-recyclable Tim Horton's mugs! Liz also recycles organic food waste. For example, she takes it home to feed her horses! Liz is always thinking of way to improve the school’s ecological footprint.

Liz goes above and beyond to ensure all stakeholders understand the importance of caring for the planet. Currently Liz reaching beyond the school and is engaging the community by heading up a greening committee to improve the school grounds and manage the school’s forest. She meets with members from the school community and city members to collaboratively brainstorm the best way to make Mitchell Woods PS as green an environment as possible.

We congratulate Liz as well as all nominees this year for their inspiring efforts.

Mike Elrick Environmental Leadership Award Nominees 2016

  • Amanda Piercey, Westwood PS
  • Chris Jess, Centre Wellington DHS
  • Christina Reed, Orangevile DHS
  • Christopher van Beurden, Guelph CVI
  • Dianne Chadder, Willow Rd PS
  • Eco-Moms, Primrose PS
  • Jennifer Bailey, Island Lake PS
  • Joel Barr, Centennial CVI
  • Karen Lewis, Brant Ave. PS
  • Kate Kelly, Westminster Woods PS
  • Kim Sayers, Centre Dufferin DHS
  • Lesley Row, Erin PS
  • Marla Firth, Parkinson Centennial PS
  • Mary Johnston, Centre Wellington DHS
  • Michelle Hornett, Ottawa Crescent PS
  • Nikki Hughson, Island Lake PS
  • Pat Sproat, Westwood PS
  • Paul Frayne, Norwell DSS
  • Susan Dodds, J.D. Hogarth PS

Past Winners of the Mike Elrick Environmental Leadership Award

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees for their Leadership in Environmental Action!

  • Winner 2016 Liz Hazlett
  • Winner 2015 Patsy Collier
  • Winner 2014 Greg Smith
  • Winner 2013 Cory Lipovschek
  • Winner 2012 Mike Anderson
  • Winner 2011 Sheila Koop
  • Winner 2010 Barb Kidd