Tin Mountain is incredibly lucky to have so many generous and devoted individuals, organizations, and businesses that support us in our mission.
We are pleased to recognize this year’s 2021 Annual Award Recipients:
This year’s Outstanding Environmental Educator award is presented to Margot Robert of Jackson Grammar School. Margot’s understated style and quiet enthusiasm is infectious. Her ability to connect multiple disciplines in integrated units addresses various learning modalities making learning both interesting and fun. Margot works with Tin Mountain’s staff to ensure the environmental content presented extends into other subjects. For example, potatoes planted in the spring are harvested by the following year’s class in the fall, counted weighed and organized by various characteristics before ultimately being cut and cooked for the entire school community. Year after year, Margot Robert showcases her commitment to her students, the community, and the environment. We are honored to work with her and appreciate all of her hard work and dedication. Margot teaches second grade and has been a teacher at the Jackson Grammar School for 20 years. Thank you for your inspiration and connectivity, Margot.
This year we present the Distinguished Service Award to outgoing Board of Trustees Chair, Rick Steber. We all know and appreciate Rick’s passion and dedication to TMCC, but this award goes deeper to his environmental commitment. Rick spearheaded the Kestrel Box program personally constructing and erecting 15 nest boxes over the past three years. He created and volunteered his time with the TMCC bird society, taking education to a higher level with this avid group of birders. He also organized TMCC group to work with the Loon Preservation Committee to monitor 17 lakes for loon nests in the greater Mt. Washington area throughout the summer. If you have ever been to his house, you know he has a spectacular bird feeding set up, and is now transforming his backyard into a native plant sanctuary. He is a true environmental steward.
Board Member, Announcer, Auctioneer, Volunteer, participant and all around good guy are just a few of the labels that describe this year’s Exemplary Service Award winner, David Freedman. David is quick to raise his hand, offer his perspective, gently push and follows up and through with everything he says he’ll do. His auctioneering and announcing skills are greatly appreciated at our various fund-raising events including the First Season Dinner and Benefit Auction and the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb. A former educator and bike enthusiast, David’s perspective on programs and bike events – among his many other contributions are greatly appreciated. Thank you David!
Tin Mountain is always appreciative of the support it receives from local businesses. This year’s Business Volunteer of the Year is gratefully presented to Chris Krug of Eastside Bike Guides. Chris and Eastside Bike Guides meticulously maintain the mountain bike trails on Tin Mountain’s East Bear Paw Property, providing safe and enjoyable routes for local riders. They also regularly donate their time to provide bike support for the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb (MWARBH) and the Mt. Washington Century (MWC+). From fixing flats and busted brakes on the road to clearing and improving trails we appreciate all they do! Thank you Eastside Bike Guides for keeping our riders safe and sound!
We are both grateful for their volunteer spirit and knowledges of gardens, and are proud to present this year’s Volunteers of the Year to the Mountain Garden Club. In a year where Tin Mountain sadly had to ask all volunteers to stay away for their safety and ours, one group continued their work tireless in a safe and distanced format. The Mountain Garden Club kept the pollinator gardens surrounding Tin Mountain’s Nature Leaning Center cared for and beautiful, even while the building remained closed and the black flies swarmed. Every week, members of the club visited the Nature Learning Center in Albany to plant, weed, mulch and water. Thank you for your hard work and for keeping the gardens blooming to welcome to staff and visitors to the property and trails.
This year two staff members are recognized for providing Exemplary Service to the Environment and the Community. One is presented to High School Program Manager, Mike Dufilho who has both expanded and enhanced the environmental programming for High School at Fryeburg Academy, Kennett HS, Gorham HS as well as Kennett Middle School students. In addition to his ongoing teaching responsibilities, Mike has taken his role several steps further by developing multi-disciplinary programs as well as independent studies for his students. Over the past year, He was instrumental last summer in developing a favorite COVID alternative to camp, Summer Camp Challenge, Camp in a Box. He is the rock star teacher/naturalist that came out of the weekly videos.
Education and Camp Director Phaedra Demers also receives the Exemplary Service to the Environment and Community Award this year. Phaedra manages the schedules and classes of the Tin Mountain teacher-naturalists, no easy job in the middle of a pandemic. . Phaedra has graciously and cheerfully juggled in-person, remote, outdoor classes and schedules all while teaching classes herself. When asked what was the toughest part of her job last year and she didn’t pause before responding “canceling camp.” She made that tough decision and then went on to develop summer camp programs perfect for a pandemic.