Critical Conservations

The Gunston School presents a virtual panel, “Critical Conversations: Educating Youth About Climate Change,” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 14. The panel features author and Brown University lecturer Elizabeth Rush (top), Head of School John Lewis (middle), and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Vice President for Education Tom Ackerman (bottom). The virtual presentation is free and open to the public. Register at

CENTREVILLE — The Gunston School will host “Critical Conversations: Educating Youth About Climate Change,” a virtual presentation that is free and open to the public at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 14, featuring Elizabeth Rush, Tom Ackerman and Gunston’s Head of School John Lewis. The panelists will discuss the importance of educating today’s youth about climate change and best practices in environmental education for all ages.

Elizabeth Rush is the author of “Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore,” a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction, and “Still Lifes from a Vanishing City: Essays and Photographs from Yangon, Myanmar.” A lecturer at Brown University, Rush’s work explores how humans adapt to changes enacted upon them by forces seemingly beyond their control, from ecological transformation to political revolution. Rush’s essays have appeared in the New York Times, Harpers, Granta, Creative Nonfiction, Orion, Guernica, Le Monde Diplomatique and others.

Tom Ackerman is the vice president for education for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and has been instrumental in the founding and direction of several key organizations including the National No Child Left Inside Coalition, Maryland Environmental Literacy Partnership, and the National Advisory Panel on Environmental Literacy. Ackerman has partnered with some of the largest school districts in the United States, establishing over a dozen systemic environmental curriculum programs.

Head of School John Lewis will discuss Gunston’s commitment to climate science education, including a first-in-class climate science graduation requirement. Lewis’s work spans direct engagement with students during Gunston’s Chesapeake Bay Studies program and his climate science course, to consulting with peer institutions and running the summer conference, Environmental Leadership for Independent School Leaders.

“We’re not preparing students for a future crisis, but a crisis that is occurring as we speak,” said Lewis. “Education has not made adjustments to the reality and the scope of the challenge.”

To register for the virtual panel, visit

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