2017 NEED Year in Review



Diane Wei

Each year, the NEED Project presents the Youth Energy Leadership Award to a deserving student who has demonstrated outstanding energy leadership, knowledge, and an interest in continuing his/her energy studies for the purpose of seeking a career in energy. This award is designed to honor students demonstrating effective leadership skills and energy knowledge throughout their association with NEED. The 2017 Recipient is Diane Wei from Kankakee, Illinois. Diane’s hard work, determination, and commitment to energy and the environment inspire others. Diane has served on the NEED Youth Staff for several years, bringing her many talents in science, photography, Polar Bears, Fish and more to the program. Working with Diane is like working with a great educator – she is funny, kind, quick to assist others, and always ready to accept that hard work brings the greatest rewards. She is a joy to serve with on the Youth Awards team and has always appreciated the “warm fuzzies” that come from working with others. This award honors the best of the best in NEED’s history and we know that Diane will be part of the NEED family for many years to come! Diane, thank you for your years of service to students, teachers and NEED. We are lucky to have you in the NEED family.

Congratulations on Graduation! We look forward to watching you succeed!

Teresa Fulk

Teresa’s nomination from her colleague Crystal Clapp highlighted her dedication to students, teachers, and the knowledge of energy. She said of Teresa, “Teresa Fulk is a wonderful teacher and coworker. Her work and commitment at our school has made our staff and students dedicated to conserving energy and making our school Energy Wise. Students, including my son, are taking responsibility for helping our school to be Energy Wise. Teresa Fulk would truly be a wonderful and worthy recipient for the Bob Thompson Excellence In Energy Award.”

Likewise, her Principal, Amy Koonce, describes Teresa by saying this,”Having known Mrs. Fulk as a parent gave me insight to her teaching style but now I realize that Mrs. Fulk is a star in every aspect of her professional performance. Mrs. Fulk consistently and successfully provides additional energy and time to extracurricular activities that benefit all students. For example, in addition to serving as the Academically Gifted teacher at Monticello-Brown Summit she also finds time to work with fifth grade science students twice a week. With a love of hands-on science, Mrs. Fulk sparks student interest in science and makes science come to life for students by bringing in guest speakers and working alongside the classroom teacher to prepare students for the fifth-grade science test. She has also implemented a collaboration with a local middle school where the middle school students come to our campus to teach hands-on science to all our K-5 students. Mrs. Fulk never fails to go above and beyond the call in any situation. She is the lead mentor on our staff and was awarded Guilford County Schools Mentor of the Year. She works with our mentors and mentees to plan lessons, work on classroom management and ways to utilize best practices. In addition, Mrs. Fulk is also the club advisor for our Energy Wise Team. Last year, Mrs. Fulk's first year in this role, our school was awarded the Gold Level of Excellence Award for being at the top level of implementation. She teaches her club members all about energy conservation and they in turn teach the other students in our building.”

NEED Board Member Wayne Yonkelowitz highlighted Teresa’s own words in his endorsement of her nomination, “Science is where students can use their natural curiosity to explore and make mistakes. Science is where the kid in all of us can shine. My hope is for my students to have a lifelong love of science. Maybe, maybe I will inspire a future scientific genius.”

Congratulations to this great energy educator and wonderful friend of NEED.

Have a teacher you'd like to nominate? Want to apply?

2018 Excellence in Energy Education Award applications are now open!

Visit www.NEED.org/awards for more information.

Each year The NEED Project selects an individual or individuals who have made a significant impact on NEED’s success during their involvement over at least a 10-year period to receive the Distinguished Service Award. The award recognizes a commitment to energy education and a dedication to making NEED stronger and the best it can be. Previous winners include NEED teachers, NEED champions within the energy industry, energy professionals, public servants working for energy agencies, and more.

Audrey Hughes
Hilsman Middle School – Athens, GA

Audrey Hughes has actively supported NEED programming in two states – Tennessee and Georgia! NEED is always happy to move with a teacher when she starts at a new school. Audrey was a long-time participant and facilitator in the Tennessee Energy Education Network hosting workshops and summer camps for educators and students. She has always lived by example, instilling in her students an appreciation of energy and a love for conserving our natural resources. Audrey has always set big goals for her school programs and her students rise to the occasion. In 2017, she had two award winning programs represented at the Youth Energy Conference and Awards. Audrey is an individual you are always happy to see and happy to work with on any project. She’s passionate about education, kids, and the environment and she works hard each day to provide extraordinary opportunities for her students. And best of all, she is a great Mom to Alton and Laurel. We have been fortunate to see Laurel’s talents on the NEED Youth Staff for many years. Audrey, thank you for so many years of energy, excitement, and fun. We look forward to many more!

Debbie Pate
A.K. Suter Middle School – Pensacola, FL

From the very beginning it was obvious that Deborah Pate was among the nation’s best educators. All NEED teachers have that certain something that shines like an energy source. Deborah believes that science and energy exploration in the classroom is fundamental to understanding the world around us. She brings the Kids Teaching Kids idea to life with each group of students. Deborah never turns away from a challenge and has been an active participant in the NEED Youth Awards for many years, bringing great groups of students to the Youth Awards Ceremony each year. Her students learn, they teach, and they work with others in their school to achieve great things in energy. The AK Suter program is strong because of great teachers and we honor Deborah as one of the best. Deborah, thanks for being a great friend to NEED and an inspiration to so many.

Leslie Lively
Short Line School – Reader, WV

To say Leslie Lively is just “active” in NEED is an understatement. Leslie Lively LIVES all NEED believes in. A Kids Teaching Kids approach to the classroom and more. Leslie believes that his students deserve all the opportunities he can provide for them. Short Line students are engaged in energy outside the school as well, sharing their energy knowledge with their peers, their parents, and the entire Reader, West Virginia community. In addition to working with his students, Leslie has been an active participant and facilitator in NEED workshops in West Virginia and has served on NEED’s Teacher Advisory Board helping create and guide NEED’s newest curriculum projects. Leslie’s work with NEED was one of the reasons he won Wetzel County's Teacher of the Year for 2017 and is a finalist for the 2018 West Virginia Teacher of the Year. Thanks for all you do for students and for NEED.

Judy Reeves
St. Margaret School – Lake Charles, LA

Anyone who has met Judy knows that she’s a source of energy herself! Always running about doing great work at St. Margaret Catholic School in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana. Judy and her St. Margaret students have taught almost all of Louisiana about energy. Through special events, service learning projects, and more, Judy has made energy and environmental conservation her passion. As a science “nerd” Judy brings science to life in her classroom and in the community. She’s always willing to try new things, explore new opportunities and bring those opportunities to her students. Judy has been an active NEED facilitator, hosting workshops in Louisiana and always leading NEED’s outreach and workshop efforts at the Louisiana Science Teachers Association convention. And you haven’t lived until you’ve traded Judy at the State Trading event for some of the amazing things she brings to trade from Louisiana. She brings the BEST Mardi Gras beads. Judy, thank you for your hard work, determination, and support of all things energy and environment. We are honored to have you as an integral part of the NEED family.

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