Bret Sutterley, a fifth-grade teacher at Walnut Elementary School, has been named the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators (PIAEE) winner for 2014 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
The PIAEE recognizes outstanding kindergarten to 12th-grade teachers who employ innovative approaches to environmental education and use the environment as a context for student learning.
Nominated by Toni Cordell of the City of Turlock’s Municipal Services, Sutterley has long been known as one of the most creative environmental educators in the area. He has secured numerous grants for solar technology education and helped thousands of students explore alternative energy sources, as well as helped students to think and live “green” through field trips and on-campus opportunities, such as the Energy Faire and his assistance in organizing Go Green Week.
“This award is a measure of the support I receive from Walnut Elementary for all of the activities we do on campus,” said Sutterley. “I take it for granted that I have the opportunity to teach but it is nice to be sort of be validated.”
The award comes with an invitation to the White House, a commemorative plaque and $2,000 to be used to further the recipient’s professional development in environmental education. Also, Walnut Elementary will receive $2,000 to fund future environmental educational activities.