Oakville teacher wins Environmental Education Award

Gladys Speers, a teacher at Myrna McBrien Public School, received the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) Environmental Education Award.

Myrna McBrien, a teacher at Gladys Speers Public School in Oakville, received the 2022 Environmental Education Award from the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario for her environmental advocacy and activism with educators and youth.

McBrien has been a member of EcoSchools Canada since 2007 and is also a member of HDSB’s environmental management team as a speaker and educator contributor. As an eco-leader, McBrien believes his role is to inspire and model ways to alleviate eco-anxiety about the climate emergency and share ways to navigate towards a sustainable and healthy future.

Through her volunteerism, McBrien has helped a number of HDSB schools receive EcoSchools certification, supported student environmental stewardship conferences and other initiatives, and used project funding from Canada to help his school’s eco team to create a film called Enough is Enough. The film was screened at the Halton Green Screens Film Festival.

She has also been nominated for a number of awards for her commitment to protecting and caring for the environment.

“Myrna is not only a strong advocate for environmental protection, but she is a role model who promotes the positive habits of her colleagues to inspire them to become role models as well,” said ETFO President Karen Brown. “Her inspirational advocacy work connects teachers with youth environmental initiatives and helps alleviate the climate crisis by bringing about positive change in her own school community.”

McBrien said Gladys Speers is a proud EcoSchool certified platinum school and was a certified silver and gold school during the pandemic.

“I am extremely honored to receive this award. Envisioning a healthy, climate-free future requires the effort of almost everyone. In my case, the energy I offer to teach environmental values ​​and strategies, or to help children cope with climate anxiety through action, comes from the inspiration and hard work of many amazing people with which I work on a daily basis.

HDSB Environmental Sustainability Specialist, Suzanne Burwell and her team, custodial and clerical staff, administration, colleagues, “Caring Children and Families” and ETFO, who are open to supporting and acknowledging These efforts all contribute to a better world in schools, the board and beyond, McBrien said.

“So this awesome award may be an individual award, but I hope people know there’s a real team effort behind it. I’m so proud to work for this progressive and caring council.

The award recognizes an ETFO member or group of members for their outstanding commitment to the care and protection of the environment.