Hayward High School teacher Theo Hartman was honored Saturday at the 4th Annual Bay Area Schools Environmental Conference as the Green Star Oustanding Teacher for 2010. Hartman, a social studies teacher, has worked to create a 2 acre, Bay Friendly registered, organic garden that has become the centerpiece of the school's emerging environmental programming. Hartman, a member of Hayward High's Service-Learning Waste Reduction Project team used found, reclaimed, and recycled items in the construction and layout of the garden. He played a key role in a number of environmental grants and programs on campus including a PG&E solar schools grant and a the design of Green California Partnership Academy to help build career pathways preparing students for green collar jobs.
The Environmental Conference, sponsored by the City of San Jose featured workshops highlighting ways that schools can become more efficient and prepare students to address local environmental challenges.
Text from the City of San Jose's announcement of Hartman's award:
"Using a small grant, plenty of creative reuse methods, a strong imagination and a great deal of elbow grease, social studies teacher Theo Hartman created a two-acre, Bay-Friendly certified, organic vegetable and native plant garden on Hayward High's campus. The garden has become the focal point of the school's quickly emerging environmental programming which includes a PG&E Solar Schools grant, and a new Green California Partnership Academy designed to prepare students for the green jobs of the future. This campus gem includes deer-fenced organic produce and fruit trees, a storage shed with a seed library, and an outdoor classroom. Native plants provide habitat for beneficial insects, birds, and other critters indicative of a healthy ecosystem. Produce grown in the garden is sent home with students to become part of the family dinner. The garden has even become an after-practice snack bar for many of the high school’s athletes!
Hartman has worked hard to train teachers on campus to integrate the garden and studies of nature into their curricula. Today, teachers from virtually every department and after school program participate in sustainable agriculture and landscaping practices.
The City of San José is proud to recognize Theo Hartman with this year’s Green Star Outstanding Teacher Award."