A Socorro Independent School District art teacher and a student were recognized by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) for their eco-friendly efforts.

El Dorado High School educator Candace Printz was named the 2019 Environmental Educator of the Year as part of the 2019 Texas Environmental Excellence Awards while Dominique Barraza, a student at Pebble Hills High School, won the TCEQ Take Care of Texas Video Contest.

Printz was recognized for her creative conservation efforts with her It’s Your World clean-up, recycling and art project. She was awarded a $2,500 grant to go toward the It’s Your World project. She was credited for educating students and the public, for utilizing volunteers and for creating conservation projects.

“This is an honor,” Printz said. “I hope that this attention can propel our future efforts with the Its Your World Project club and other environmental efforts.”

Barraza, who earned a $2,500 scholarship, was one of six finalists in the 9th-12th grade category for the TCEQ Take Care of Texas Video Contest. Her video received 413 views and was voted the best by the public, TCEQ commissioners and Waste Management of Texas, Inc. representatives.

The video won because it created awareness on environmental protection and provided tips on how to keep our air and water clean, conserve water and energy, and reduce waste.

“I am really grateful for this experience and I’m hoping that everyone will see the importance of taking care of the environment,” Barraza said. “It’s good to know that my video will motivate young kids and young adults to help the environment and lead by example.”

Printz and Barraza will be recognized at a banquet on May 15 as part of the TCEQ Environmental Trade Fair and Conference at the Austin Convention Center.

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