Earth Steward Teaching Award 2023 Winners

2023 Award Recipients

The following educators have been chosen as the recipients of LSF’s 2023 Earth Steward Teaching Awards to recognize teachers for their exemplary contribution to sustainability education in Canada. This year’s winners and runners up demonstrate exceptional leadership in sustainability education, are recognized as inspirations to their students and school community, and have taken on creative, innovative projects to advance sustainability learning and education.


Winner: Sarah Lowes

(Pilgrim Wood Public School – Oakville, Ontario)

Sarah is a teacher at Pilgrim Wood Public School in Oakville, ON, who is committed to seamlessly integrating sustainability into all of her lessons. She frequently provides opportunities for learning outdoors, using an inquiry and action-oriented approach to teaching to get her students actively involved. Her students were inspired to take action and led school-wide sustainability initiatives such as Meatless Monday, Turn It Off Tuesdays, and Waste-Free Wednesdays. Sarah’s impact also ripples throughout the broader community. She worked with her students to organize “The Big Pull”, a multi-school event to remove invasive garlic mustard from a local ravine. Sarah has been instrumental in helping facilitate various workshops, panel discussions, and opportunities for fellow teachers to develop their knowledge, empowering them to also be sustainability leaders. As the elementary teacher representative on the school district’s Sustainability Committee, she continues to advocate for board-wide sustainability changes. Sarah inspires students, teachers, and the community to become responsible global citizens!


Runner Up: Rochelle Tkash

(James Morden Public School – Niagara Falls, Ontario) 

Rochelle inspires environmental stewardship among students at James Morden Public School in Niagara Falls, Ontario. She integrates environmental education throughout the school year, starting with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) as a framework for class projects and empowering students to take global action at a local level. Rochelle’s innovative approach blends environmental education with technology, creating interdisciplinary projects that ignite creativity and allow her students to take charge. She supported various student-led projects, including developing a school-wide composting program and producing a sustainable cooking show. She also oversees James Morden’s EcoSchools certification to inspire other students and colleagues at school. Rochelle is dedicated to being a wonderful mentor to the next generation of Earth stewards!



Runner Up: Cathy Dikstra

(Kortright Hills Public School – Guelph, Ontario)


Cathy is a dedicated grade 5 teacher at Kortright Hills P.S. in Guelph, Ontario who cares passionately about her students, her sense of purpose as an environmental educator, and the future of the planet. She believes in teaching all subjects through a sustainability lens, fostering a sense of purpose and engagement among students. Cathy constantly goes out of her way to line up learning and leadership opportunities for her students both within the school and out in the community. She has taken students to speak at local conferences, workshops, Guelph City Council meetings, and galas to share their environmental knowledge and passion. She also regularly invites local community members and global environmental experts as guests to inspire her students. Cathy is building passionate environmental citizens who, regardless of age, are inspired to make a difference in their school, homes, and communities!

Honourable Mentions

Congratulations to:

  • Brenda Scarlett (Bayridge Secondary – Kingston, ON)
  • Jessica McKenzie (École secondaire David-Saint-Jacques – Kitchener, ON)
  • Katharina Hille (Holy Rosary Catholic School – Belleville, ON)
  • Michael Schram (Eastview Public School – Scarborough, ON)
  • Sophie Génier (École secondaire catholique de Casselman – Casselman, ON)