Spirit of the Springs award

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers presented the "Spirit of the Springs" award to retired science teacher Sharon Milito at an annual event she created at Red Rock Canyon. Photo courtesy of the City of Colorado Springs

Sharon Milito, a retired elementary teacher who taught fourth grade at Colorado Springs School District 11’s Patrick Henry Elementary School, received a “Spirit of the Springs” Celebration Award July 21 during a surprise presentation.

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers presented Milito with the award at the Red Rock Canyon Bioblitz, a three-day event featuring hikes, talks and other nature activities, in honor of her “enduring commitment to science education and ongoing volunteer efforts.”

“Sharon’s passion for science and history permeates throughout our community,” Mayor Suthers said in a statement. “As a teacher, she led students to engage in their natural environments outside of school, and her commitment to creating excitement around natural sciences extends beyond the classroom and into the community, where she regularly volunteers to study and share the important geological and paleontological attributes of our local natural resources.

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“Her passion and leadership in our community is inspiring.”

Milito’s style of teaching science through discovery earned her the 2011 American Association of Petroleum Geologists’ Natural Resources and Earth Science Teacher of the Year award.

As a volunteer geology and paleontology researcher with the City and Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Milito authored the report, “Fossils and Geologic Points of Interest in Red Rock Canyon Open Space,” which helped city officials make recommendations for preserving sites in Red Rock Canyon.

In addition to her stewardship efforts, Milito spearheaded the first Bioblitz for the city's parks, recreation and cultural services department, and helped to coordinate Bioblitz events in 2017, 2018 and this year.

Through the Spirit of the Springs award, the mayor’s office recognizes exceptional individuals and organizations in the city for outstanding achievements. For more information, go to mayorsuthers.com.

Contact the writer: 719-476-1656.

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