A primary school teacher from Ballycraigy Primary School, Antrim, has been named 'Green Teacher of the Year 2012' at the end of an exciting competition organised by Belfast Harbour and Action Renewables.
Mrs. Jocelyn Brown from Ballycraigy Primary School claimed the gold prize in the Northern Ireland-wide search for primary school teachers who take responsibility for the environment and eco issues. Jocelyn has been involved with a number of green activities with her pupils including harvesting school crops for soup, gardening competitions, bird watching, setting up a composting area, organizing a 'walk to school week' and a weekly Green Fingers Club.
The competition, launched by Environment Minister, Alex Attwood, calls on primary school pupils to nominate their 'greenest teacher' by explaining the hard work their teacher does to look after the environment and educate children on eco issues. Over 600 entries were received from all over Northern Ireland.
All entries were judged by a panel of experts including David Knott, Environmental Manager at Belfast Harbour, Angus Waddington, Associate at Todd Architects, Clare McAllister, Senior Customer Relations Manager at Electric Ireland, Kate Noble, Head of Energy and Environmental Practices at the National Trust and Laura Coey, Education Officer at Action Renewables.
The Green Teacher of the Year 2012 Awards came to a fun finale at an environmental challenge day at W5 during which seven shortlisted teachers and their classes enjoyed an interactive 'Talking Rubbish' show, took part in a team challenge to create and build wind turbines, as well as meeting Webster the Port Monster, Belfast Harbour's Environmental Guardian.
Opening the Challenge Day at W5, Environment Minister, Alex Attwood said:
'It is great to see what young people in Northern Ireland are doing to protect and improve our environment. This competition shows how well young people understand the issues and recognises adults who are Champions for the Environment. The teachers whom we celebrate here today have inspired their changes in school to make a difference by leading by example and that is the best teaching of all.
'I congratulate all the finalists as well as our winner, Mrs. Brown from Ballycraigy Primary School, for showing true inspiration and leadership to the next generation. This in turn will encourage them to take up the challenge and ensure our environment and economy are protected and grown in the future as well as today.'
Congratulating the finalists and all the teachers involved, Roy Adair, Belfast Harbour CEO, said:
'Belfast Harbour is committed to fulfilling our environmental responsibilities and we are truly delighted that the Green Teacher of the Year competition has, once again, raised the knowledge and understanding of eco issues amongst our next generation of leaders.
'The Green Teacher of the Year Awards provides a great platform for schools, teachers and pupils to take responsibility for our environment. It is inspiring to see teachers provide direction and set examples for the young people of our community to follow. We would like to congratulate all of the finalists and those who entered this unique competition.'
As well as enjoying the Challenge Day, Jocelyn received tickets for her class to the new Titanic Belfast visitor attraction and a large hamper.
St Patrick's Primary in Holywood claimed second prize, followed by Carnmoney Primary in Newtownabbey and Belleek Controlled Primary in Fermanagh coming joint third. The other finalists included Dromore Primary in Tyrone, St. Colman's Primary in Lisburn and St. Mary's Primary in Lurgan. Goodie bags were also given out to all pupils participating in the finalists Challenge Day.
Nicola Murphy, Business Development Manager, Action Renewables, said:
'The quality of the entries this year has impressed the judging panel more than ever before, so we congratulate each of the finalist teachers who came out top in a very competitive year. It is clear to see the Green Teacher of the Year Awards encourages both children and teachers to get more involved and more creative with their environmental activities.'
For more details on the winners please visit www.webstersays.com