Michael Cruse is a Special Education and English Language Learner Resource Teacher at the H‑B Woodlawn Secondary Program in the Arlington Public Schools (APS), Arlington, VA. He is the teacher advisor for the Green Club and manages the school’s participation in the Global Schools Program, part of UNESCO’s Global Action Program on Education for Sustainable Development. He also serves as one of the school division’s environmental sustainability liaisons, supporting the communities’ capacity to take action around local and global environmental issues.
Within APS, he initiated a closed-loop compost system for a culinary arts program, where culinary students are composting their scraps and growing herbs and micro-greens for use in their commercial kitchen. He has received funding from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for a student-led indoor air quality (IAQ) study and a horticulture remediation project. He has also received local community foundation support for activity-based crosswalks at neighboring elementary schools and an accessible community garden for students with mobility impairments.
In 2018, Michael received a Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching fellowship to study green schools and environmental education in Israel and Palestine. His inquiry project focused on pluralistic school and community-based programs that support environmental stewardship in contested landscapes. He has blogged about his work for Education Week and National Geographic Education.
Michael is currently a community moderator for the North American Association for Environmental Education’s Sustainable Cities and Communities group. He is also serving a two-year term on the advisory board of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Center for Green Schools, where he has helped advise the organization’s outreach and communications and peer-reviewed presentations for the Green Schools National Network's annual conference.
Michael seeks opportunities to give students and teachers the tools to improve their communities and platforms to share their stories. He believes that urban youth and educators should be at the forefront of addressing the impacts of climate change, and advocating for more sustainable schools and communities.
Amy Nocton lives in Storrs, CT, with her family and works at E.O. Smith High School, next door to the University of Connecticut. She teaches Spanish and also advises the Deliberation and Discourse Project. The project began as a response intended to diffuse tension at the school after the 2016 presidential election. It began with a schoolwide symposium on race and gender, spearheaded by Joe Goldman (E.O. Smith Social Studies) and Dr. Glenn Mitoma, Assistant Professor of Human Rights and Education and Director of the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at UConn.
Amy received a fellowship through the Initiatives on Campus Dialogues for three consecutive years, and the funds helped her and her colleagues train between fifty to eighty-plus students in deliberative practices. The group has since collaboratively written four National Issues Forum–type guides and held four public forums, including two virtual events this past October. Amy is honored to receive the Libby Kingseed Teaching with Deliberation Memorial Award and recognizes that the work of the students, her interns, and her colleagues also deserves mention.