Christine Avey, Westmount Charter School, Alberta – Winner

Catherine Corkery, St. Anne’s Catholic Elementary School, Ontario – Finalist

Duncan Sinclair, East Elgin Secondary School, Ontario – Finalist

Special Commendations to:

Alison McTavish, Mulgrave School, British Columbia

Sacha Noukhovitch, Earl Haig Secondary School, Ontario

Terri Willard, Seven Oaks Met School, Manitoba

About the FOCUS! Teachers Excellence in Environmental Education and Communication (Teacher’s Leadership Award)

The FOCUS! Teachers Excellence in Environmental Education and Communication (Teachers Leadership Award) recognizes Excellence in Environmental Education, Communication, and Inspiration by Canada’s amazing teachers. Three prizes will be awarded to teachers who have demonstrated excellence, innovation and leadership in any of the following areas within the past three years (since September 2016):

  • reforming curriculum to encourage environment, climate justice and/or sustainable living learning;
  • implementing climate change action projects that help shape students’ understanding about climate change and their potential roles in mitigating its effects; and/or,
  • creating, sharing and demonstrating up-take of their innovative approaches to environmental, climate justice and/or sustainable teaching within their profession.

The winning teacher will receive a cash prize of $5,000 with an additional $2,000 awarded to their school. Two additional finalist prizes will also be awarded ($2,000 to the teacher + $1,000 to their school). School prizes are to be used to support professional development activities of teachers in the area of environmental education, sustainability or climate change, or for materials or equipment to support instruction in these areas.

Who Can be Nominated?

The FOCUS! Teachers Excellence in Environmental Education and Communication (Teachers Leadership Award) is open to all teachers in Canada including Grades Kindergarten – 12, public or independent schools at the time of nomination. The Foundation accepts both self-nomination and second-party nominations.

What Does the Nominator Need to Do?

The Nominator must:

  1. Seek the Nominee’s permission by having the nominee sign the “Consent to be Nominated” form accessible under the “Forms” tab of this webpage.
  2. Write a nomination letter indicating the following:
    1. Reason why you are nominating the individual (or yourself);
    2. Description of how the nominee has demonstrated excellence, innovation and leadership in one (or more) of the three areas of achievement identified (reforming curriculum, implementing climate change action projects, knowledge transfer within the profession);
    3. Details about any specific project, initiative or knowledge sharing activity that is particularly noteworthy to deserve recognition through this Award and identifying what is specifically innovative or unique about their contribution;
    4. Overview of the impact that has been made by the nominee’s innovation and leadership.
  3.  With the nominee’s written permission as provided for in their signed Consent Form, identify 2 additional individuals who will provide support letters, at least one of which must be  from a principal, vice-principal, or school superintendent AND request them to send their confidential letter of support directly by email to Sue Roppel, President, of the Kimberley Foundation at: These additional support letters must be received by the Kimberley Foundation no later than March 15, 2020 (11:59 pm);
  4. Gather up to 2 additional supporting materials that demonstrate the contribution for which you are nominating the individual (anything is possible – video, photos series, curriculum sample, report summary, news article, etc.). If any of your supporting material files are larger than 100MB you will need to send it Sue Roppel using the free WETransfer facility (
  5. Submit the nomination (excluding the 2 support letters) through the “FOCUS! Teachers Excellence in Environmental Education and Communication” submission portal on this webpage by no later than February 15, 2020.

What will the NOMINEE have to do?

To be a Nominee, you must:

  1. Agree to be nominated and have support letters generated on your behalf by the individuals identified in your consent form;
  2. Review (edit) and approve a brief description provided to you by the Kimberley Foundation of your achievements for which you are being recognized that will be made public on the Kimberley Foundation website should you be one of the winners identified for the FOCUS! Teachers Excellence in Environmental Education and Communication (Teachers Leadership Award)

How will Nominations Be Judged?

There are three essential criteria that will be used to evaluate the Nominations submitted to the FOCUS! Teachers Excellence in Environmental Education and Communication (Teachers Leadership Award):

  • Overall Excellence
  • Level of Innovation and/or Demonstration of Leadership
  • Extent of Impact

Judging will occur in two stages:

  1. Stage 1: Nominations will undergo an initial evaluation against the judging criteria and a sub-set will be short-listed for extended consideration.
  2. Stage 2: short-listed nominations will be evaluated by the Board of Directors of the Kimberley Foundation, led by Dr. Rosalind Morris (a Professor and herself an award winning educator, at Columbia University). As part of the review process, the Foundation, at its discretion, may undertake external expert input as part of its review of any nomination to fully understand the innovation or impact of the achievement. Such a process will ensure that all materials submitted are anonymized to ensure confidentiality of the applicant.

The Board retains final decision-making authority and all decisions are final. The Board also reserves the right to limit the number of prizes or to not make an award if the quality of nominations is deemed insufficient to merit recognition.


  • Completed nominations are due February 15, 2020 (11:59pm PST)
  • Reference Support Letters are due March 15, 2020 (11:59pm PST)
  • Decisions announced June 3, 2020

What Language Do the Nominations Have to Be In?

All materials submitted must be produced in either English or French.

Any Questions?

If you have any other questions, please direct them to Ms. Sue Roppel, President, Kimberley Foundation, at   We thank you for your interest in the FOCUS! Teachers Excellence in Environmental Education and Communication (Teachers Leadership Award).

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