FL teacher named Formal Environmental Educator of the Year

Community Editor

Devon Vojtech, a science teacher at Forest Lake Area High School, has been selected as this year’s recipient of the 2017 Formal Environmental Educator of the Year.

Vojtech teaches earth and space science at the high school, as well as meteorology, and serves as adviser to the school’s Environmental Club.

This award is presented by the Minnesota Association for Environmental Education Awards and Scholarship Committee. Vojtech was notified of this designation through an email from MAEE on Sept. 15.

“When I received an email with the award notification I was very surprised,” Vojtech said in a press release. “I learned a few days later that Summer Schwintek, the president of the Forest Lake High School Environmental Club, had nominated me for the award.”

The Environmental Educator of the Year award is presented to the recipient who exhibits innovative and exemplary effort in providing environmental education opportunities for general audiences. Each year, MAEE reviews nominations for each of their four award areas and recipients are chosen by the criteria around their contributions to the field of environmental education and connecting students to concepts in environmental education.

“As the adviser of the Environmental Club, I am very proud of the club officers and members for their enthusiasm and environmental stewardship,” Vojtech said. “The diverse environmental interests of our students have a common theme of education. Our students are proactive, passionate and excited to have a positive impact within the school district and community. I feel honored to represent the students of Forest Lake Area High School with the 2017 Formal Environmental Educator of the Year Award.”

Nearly 40 students attend the high school’s Environmental Club weekly meetings, which often include guest speakers from the community who are brought in to help educate and share environmental happenings. Twenty-one of those students will be participating in the upcoming YES! Fall Summit at St. John’s University.

Vojtech also noted her appreciation for the Environmental Club members, activities and support organizations, saying that without them, her award would not have been possible.

Vojtech will officially be recognized for the award at the MAEE Awards Social on Nov. 5, from 2 – 4 p.m. at Eastman Nature Center in Dayton, Minnesota.