California Educator Kay Antunez Wins NAAEE's Walter E. Jeske Award


California Educator Kay Antunez Receives NAAEE's Highest Honor, the Walter E. Jetske Award, at NAAEE's 2015 Annual Conference in San Diego, CA.



Press Release


CEDARVILLE, CA, October 18, 2015 — Kay Antunez, a long-time California educator in the field of environmental education, was recently recognized by the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), a leader in environmental education, as the recipient of one of NAAEE’s hallmark annual awards recognizing leadership in the field. At a special awards reception during NAAEE’s 44th Annual Conference in San Diego, Antunez received the Walter E. Jeske Award.

The Jeske Award is the highest honor NAAEE bestows for contributions in environmental education and is named after Walter Jeske, former Chief of the Education and Publications unit within the U.S. Soil Conservation Service, who died suddenly in 1981.

Antunez served as the state coordinator of the California Project Learning Tree program sponsored by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection ( from 1988 to 2012. She has volunteered at Surprise Valley Elementary School's afterschool program and the Surprise Valley 4-H Club in Cedarville. She also is helping her grandsons raise animals and tend a large garden.

“For more than four decades, NAAEE has promoted excellence and impact in environmental education thanks to the tireless efforts of our members, supporters, and affiliate organizations,” said Judy Braus, Executive Director. “Our award winners represent bright spots across North America that show progress in our field across multiple disciplines and approaches, from teaching and community engagement to research and environmental justice.” 

This year, 11 award recipients — an impressive slate of individuals and organizations from North America —were selected across 11 categories. For more information about the 2015 NAAEE Awards including eligibility requirements and a full list of winners, visit