Dr. Marilyn Zaragoza
Dr. Marilyn Zaragoza or "Dr. Z" (as she is known at Everglades Senior High School) teaches students to become ecologically responsible denizens of the planet by overseeing the recycling of paper, plastic, cardboard and aluminum cans at her school. She schedules student interns to regularly empty the individual recycling bins that she has placed in every classroom as well as offices throughout the building. She coordinates distribution to the local recycling center and sees that the appropriate final steps are taken to assure successful completion of the recycling process. Dr. Z also encourages the collection of plastic bottle caps for the Aveda recycling program. This requires additional time and effort, as the chemical process is separate for caps and bottles.
Dr. Zaragoza helps her high school to become as green as possible by encouraging the use and reuse of "class set" of worksheets and education supplements and using common midterm and final exams in the Science Department. Not only does the sharing of exams and worksheets cut down on the cases of paper consumed by the department on a yearly basis, it also promotes teamwork, communication and shared ideas amongst colleagues. By encouraging both the facility and the custodial staff to turn off computers, lights and televisions at the end of the day, Dr. Z was instrumental in saving Everglades thousands of dollars in electricity over the past few years.
Dr. Zaragota was able to secure a grant that allowed her high school to receive a solar cell that will provide twelve classrooms with power during an electrical shortage. From solar power to the hand on collection of recyclables, Dr. Marilyn Zaragota quietly goes about her daily chores, which include teaching, setting a realistic, attainable example for earth’s future caretakers and saving her little acre of the planet.
Thank you for all that you do Dr. Zaragota! We are honored to have you as our Eco Hero!