Seattle Foundation Blog

2017 Patsy Collins Award

Three teachers were recognized for learning experiences that make a difference for kids, their communities and our planet


November 15, 2017

Tony Mestres, President and CEO of Seattle Foundation, presented the Patsy Collins Award to three outstanding teachers at IslandWood’s Waking the World event on Nov. 15. IslandWood, a nonprofit outdoor learning center on Bainbridge Island, received a substantial gift from Patsy Collins during its founding. 

Patsy Collins was a philanthropist and civic leader who believed in stewarding the environment and our natural resources for generations to come. In her honor, an anonymous Seattle Foundation philanthropist endowed an award to recognize teachers who inspire citizenship and environmental stewardship. 

The three winners of the 2017 Patsy Collins Award embody her spirit by creating learning experiences that make a difference for kids, their communities and our planet. They are:

Denise Schuyler Peters, Meridian Park Elementary, Shoreline
As a 4th grade teacher, Peters strives to create a classroom that fosters in her students a genuine curiosity about the world. Through self-directed, project-based learning she invites her students to explore ethical issues and to be citizen scientists. She takes her students into the field to study the complexities of wetland habitats and the impact of human actions on the environment.

Kim Schulze, formerly of Highline High School, Burien
Schulze focused on using real-world, problem-based learning to motivate and inspire her students. She brought experts into the classroom to spark discussion, initiated partnerships with local government and organizations, and gave students autonomy to research and develop solutions to real community problems related to sustainability and the environment.

Mike Town, Tesla STEM High School, Redmond
With more than 30 years of experience teaching, Town is committed to hands-on, community-connected environmental learning. He helped open Tesla STEM High School in Redmond, where he teaches AP Environmental Science, Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Design. He is mentoring students in local and global community issues and inspiring them to pursue careers as environmental leaders.

This exceptional trio of teachers embodies Patsy Collins’ values and respect for the environment and our critical role in sustaining it. At Seattle Foundation, we believe that a healthy environment provides important benefits and makes our region a stronger, more vibrant community for all.

This is one of many awards programs and scholarships Seattle Foundation manages to honor individuals and support causes. If you’d like to learn more about this work, contact philanthropicservices@seattlefoundation.org

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