The recipient of the 2011 NH Environmental Educator of the Year award for the Secondary Category is Mark Pedersen of Timberlane Regional High School in Plaistow. Mark was chosen because of the combination of his personal and professional commitment to environmental stewardship. He shares his passion for the environment with his students, colleagues and community by his words and actions.
These actions include launching a student investigation of Timberlane’s energy use. They went beyond a typical audit by calculating alternatives and cost saving measures which were presented to the school board. By implementing some of these recommendations the school has reduced energy costs, pollutants and received an Energy Star award. Mark has helped initiate other activities in and out of school including school wide recycling, an environmental service club, coastal cleanups, ecological research projects, and teaching about local food which resulted in student designed websites to assist farmers with marketing.
Mark has retooled the Timberlane Environmental Science curriculum to combine physical science and biology in a single year-long course with a focus on sustainability. This systems approach has inspired his colleagues and helped his students’ understand their impact on the environment. The combination of innovative curriculum, engaging lessons, service learning projects and personal commitment make Mark Pederson an educator worthy of recognition. In the words of one of his students, “Mr. Pedersen is a great teacher and a great person too. He really deserves this award.”