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Upper School Teacher Ben Rich Recognized as a Leader in Environmental Education

Congratulations to Ben Rich who received the Environmental Educator of the Year Award from the Alliance of NJ Environmental Educators (ANJEE). Ben has been at MKA for over ten years in his roles as an Upper School science teacher, Sustainability Coordinator, Green Roof Coordinator, advisor to the Environmental Action Club (EnAct), and a certified LEED Green Associate. ANJEE is a networking resource for environmental educators and has been an effective proponent of environmental education since 1985. Ben’s state-wide recognition is significant amidst the high level of activism for sustainability and environmental education in New Jersey. 

A consistent leader at the school, township, and state levels, Ben brought the Eco-Schools USA program to MKA and has coordinated students in the completion of audits and action plans that have earned them the Green Flag award multiple times. He leads the way in implementing the school’s recycling and composting program and is a tireless advocate for ensuring that the school is as green as possible. Ben is co-chair of his township’s environmental commission and founded a group of sustainability coordinators in Northern NJ known as OASIS NNJ - Organizing Action on Sustainability In Schools.  He has been a tireless electric vehicle advocate for over a decade, earning the 2022 EV Road Trip Ambassador Award from the National Electric Vehicle Association. 

Ben shared, “I firmly believe this recognition is only possible because I work in such a positive environment that encourages me to dare greatly and motivate our students to take action in our school and in the community.” The external partnerships that Ben has cultivated benefit MKA students and enable them to actively work on green initiatives such as testing water in the Peckman River, building and installing lantern fly traps at the Alonzo F Bonsal Wildlife Preserve, creating a student-driven Carbon Neutral Commitment Committee at MKA, and more. 

Read more about this prestigious award and the Alliance of NJ Environmental Educators.