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HCPSS Environmental Educator at Howard County Conservancy Wins U.S. EPA Award

April 30th, 2020

Ann Strozyk with her daughter, Mackenzie.
Photo caption: Ann Strozyk, with her daughter, Mackenzie, a Mt. Hebron High School student, during a stream field trip at Patapsco Valley State Park.

Ann Strozyk, HCPSS environmental educator at the Howard County Conservancy, was recently recognized as the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators winner for Region 3. Strozyk is one of seven winners of this national award, presented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in partnership with the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Strozyk was selected in part for her creation of the Watershed Report Card program, which is now incorporated into every Howard County high school 9th grade earth science and biology class. The program provides students with field experiences and advocacy opportunities to collect data on water quality, and present environmental recommendations to elected officials at the annual Howard County Watershed Summit. Through the program, native plant gardens and trees have been planted at all county high schools, 85 storm drains have been stenciled, and more than 118 student stream studies have taken place.

In addition to the Watershed Report Card program, Strozyk also supports middle schools with the Bioblitz biodiversity program, a 7th grade Chesapeake Bay focused field experience and an annual Weather to the Extreme conference for 6th grade students. She is also piloting the region’s first climate change focused field experience for high school juniors.

Strozyk’s previous awards include the 2013 STEM Educator of the Year (Maryland Tech Council), 2015 HCPSS Crystal Flame Award, and 2016 Above and Beyond Award (Maryland Water Monitoring Council).

The Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators seeks to recognize, support and bring public attention to the outstanding environmental projects performed by innovative (K-12) teachers who go beyond textbook instruction to incorporate methods and materials that utilize creative experiences and enrich student learning. Learn more about the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators and Strozyk’s award-winning work.