Senator Lesser Congratulates Chicopee Teacher on Winning "Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education" Award

State House Ceremony Honors Teacher of More than 40 Years

SPRINGFIELD — Senator Eric P. Lesser congratulated Pope Francis High School teacher Robert Brodeur of Chicopee for earning an Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education Award from the Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

Senator Lesser had nominated Brodeur for the award, which recognized both the teacher and his school’s Environmental Science, Oceanography, Earth Science and Aquaculture programs.

Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton delivered the award to Brodeur and three students from his Oceanography class at a ceremony in the State House Monday.

“I am so proud of Robert Brodeur and Pope Francis High School for earning this award. Not only is it a recognition of their hard work, but of the heart and soul they pour into providing our students a quality education. It is thanks to teachers like Mr. Brodeur that we have such talented, motivated students here in Western Massachusetts who will go on inspire others with their own achievements,” said Senator Lesser, who serves on the Joint Committee on Higher Education.

“Bob Brodeur is a master teacher who has been practicing and honing his teaching skills for more than 40 years. He is very passionate about the subjects he teaches, which is evident to all, especially his students, past and present,” said Dr. Thomas Y. McDowell, Interim Head of School at Pope Francis.

“At Pope Francis High School, I am very fortunate to be surrounded by a veteran, dedicated and caring teaching staff. Bob Brodeur proves that on a daily basis. We are honored that he has received this most prestigious environmental award. He is well-deserving,” he added.

Prior to teaching Environmental Science, Oceanography and Earth Science at Pope Francis High School, Brodeur taught science for 40 years at Cathedral High School. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and teacher certification from Westfield University and has done graduate work through Shoals Marine Laboratory in New Hampshire, Cornell University in New York and Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Florida.

In fall 2000, Brodeur’s work was recognized with the Teaching Excellence Award sponsored by the Springfield Chamber of Commerce. In 2004, he participated in the Teacher-at-Sea program with scientists from UCONN aboard a NOAA research vessel in an expedition out of Wood’s Hole Oceanographic Institution to study corals along the New England coast. He is a current member of Massachusetts Marine Educators.

“It was a great honor to receive this award; not only for the recognition, but also for the fact that former and current students remembered and appreciated our discussions about energy, ecosystems and sustainability, our ecological footprint as individuals and societies, and the interrelatedness of all life,” said Brodeur.

“One of my favorite environmental quotes that I share with my students, and which is attributed to Native American folklore, is: 'We have not inherited the Earth from our ancestors. We have borrowed it from our children.' It is important that they realize that our individual actions, lifestyles and consumer habits can have a lasting impact on our world,” he added.



About Pope Francis High School

Pope Francis High School is a four-year, co-educational college preparatory school formed through the merger of Cathedral High School and Holyoke Catholic High School. Currently located in the city of Chicopee at the Holyoke Catholic High School on Springfield Street, a new facility is planned for the former location of Cathedral High School on Surrey Road in Springfield. Beginning in 2016, both Cathedral and Holyoke Catholic High School students began attending Pope Francis High School at the Chicopee location. The new school in Springfield is expected to open for the 2018-2019 school year. For more information about Pope Francis High School, visit

About the Secretary’s Awards for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education

The 2017 Awards are sponsored by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in partnership with the Massachusetts Environmental Trust. Members of the Secretary’s Advisory Group on Energy and Environmental Education and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education lent their expertise to the selection of the award winners. State Senators and Representatives are invited to nominate the schools and teachers they represent for awards every year.