Classrooms: School Notes

  • Caitlyn Shea-Butler SUBMITTED PHOTO

Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Amherst, Hadley recognized for environmentaleducation

BOSTON — Education initiatives at Amherst and Hadley schools were among 32 programs honored Monday as part of the 24th annual Secretary’s Awards for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education.

Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton recognized the programs at a Statehouse ceremony.

Gov. Charlie Baker said the environmental programs and educators provide hands-on learning opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, fields.

Winners competed for $5,000 in awards, funded by the Massachusetts Environmental Trust with the intention to fund further environmental education initiatives at the schools.

In Hadley, Hartbrook School was honored for its program for high school students called “Plants in the Landscape: Crafting and Ecological Approach to Patterns and Process in Nature.”

In Amherst, the University of Massachusetts Extension unit of the Center for Agriculture was honored, along with liaison Will Snyder for its program for high school students called “Mass Envirothon.”

Northampton woman honored for college teaching

NORTHAMPTON — Caitlyn Shea-Butler, a 2000 graduate of Northampton High School, was named co-recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Junior Faculty Award for the College of Engineering at the University of Massachusetts graduation ceremonies last weekend.

Shea-Butler has also been further honored for her excellence in teaching by being selected a 2017-18 Lily Fellow, and she was the recipient of a prestigious National Science Foundation career grant.

Shea-Butler joined the UMass College of Engineering Department in 2011 after completing her doctorate in civil and environmental engineering at the University of Notre Dame in 2010 and spending one year as an assistant professor at Arizona State University.

A member of the first engineering classes to graduate from Smith College, Shea-Butler is a wife and mother of three who lives in Northampton.

Lander-Grinspoon 5th-grader earns literacy award

Isabel Baxter-Paris, 11, a Longmeadow resident and fifth-grade student at Lander-Grinspoon Academy, was honored recently at the Statehouse by the Massachusetts Center for the book, the state affiliate of the United States Library of Congress.

She received this recognition for placing in the top 1 percent of Massachusetts participants in a national essay writing contest sponsored by the Congressional Library.

Known as “Letters About Literature,” the essay contest was established by the Library in 1992 to demonstrate the power of reading as a life-changing force for young people. Students are invited to write a letter to an author whose writing has profoundly and personally impacted their life.

Isabel wrote to Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani activist and Nobel Prize winner, about her autobiography, “I Am Malala,” and her speech to the Nobel Committee.

Rebecca Marks, also in fifth grade at LGA, received an honorary mention in the contest and was awarded a certificate for the letter she wrote to Wendy Mass about her book, “A Mango Shaped Space.”