Tucson Electric Power presented Distinguished Teacher Awards to two local teachers who use the company’s Bright Students program during ceremonies at their schools.
The winning teachers were Eric Flewelling of Roskruge Bilingual Magnet School and Elaine Garcia of Imago Dei Middle School. Both schools serve limited-income students, while Imago Dei also has a refugee student population.
TEP honored them because of their enthusiasm for the energy-efficiency instruction program. The Bright Students program gives thousands of students each year the tools to become more sustainable and conserve energy at home.
“I was shocked, but I was proud because I do incorporate energy efficiency into my classroom,” Garcia said about the award.
The teachers received certificates and gift baskets filled with TEP mementos, $100 gift cards and school supplies to help with the upcoming academic year. The baskets also had energy efficiency products including power strips, low-flow showerheads and aerators.
Flewelling, who teaches physics, chemistry and sustainability, usually schedules Bright Students during the first semester and follows up with lessons throughout the year.
“It brings concepts to life. I do as much as possible to have students ‘do science,’ as they learn better this way,” Flewelling said. “The program is very engaging.”
Garcia, a fifth grade teacher, uses the Bright Students program as part of her environmental unit, which also includes recycling and water conservation. She previously worked as a facilitator for TEP’s education programs in the 1990s.
“I teach my students about what you can you do in your average household. That’s how Bright Students fits in,” Garcia said. “They do a wonderful job.”