YES! would like to congratulate Mary Beth Botz, Sleepy Eye YES! co-coach, on her upcoming retirement! During the last 13 years, Mary Beth guided nearly 200 YES! students from St. Mary’s Catholic School to successfully complete numerous team projects in partnership with Sleepy Eye Public School students and co-coach Deb Reinarts.
When asked about her favorite coaching memory, Mary Beth said that she “derives great satisfaction from seeing the YES! members lead and interact with younger students and community members at activities such as Earth Week or at Party in the Park. To know that they have taken ownership of the mission of YES! and to hear their confidence when sharing their passion with others – for an educator, there is no greater joy.”
Several veteran team members who are graduating seniors shared how their YES! coach and teacher impacted them:
“Mrs. Botz has a great passion for the environment and taking care of our world. She is so passionate and puts her whole heart into doing whatever she can to make a difference and help protect the environment. She truly cares about the world we live in and making it a better place for future generations.” – Annika Nosbush
“Mrs. Botz has been a wonderful example to me of how I personally can strive for change. She has always been so creative in finding ways to improve the environment in our local community. It is easy to be overwhelmed by the negative track that our climate and environment are globally taking, but Mrs. Botz teaches us the importance of beginning first by impacting our very own community. I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to have Mrs. Botz as both a YES leader and a teacher. She is truly an inspiration and a wonderful steward of the Earth!” – Abigail Schwartz
“Mrs. Botz was a great coach for our YES! Team because she truly believed in her efforts to improve the environment. Mrs. Botz was passionate about each project and that carried over to the students, driving them to success.” – Emily Helget
Being a YES! coach has influenced Mary Beth in profound ways, too. “As a life-long learner, YES! has broadened my views and brought in new perspectives on the collective responsibility we share for being wise stewards of our earth and its resources,” she said.
What are Mary Beth’s plans for retirement? “Rather than a single bucket list, I have an entire basket full of possibilities,” she said. “In the most immediate future, however, I plan to continue my involvement with an innovative research project exploring the possibility of harvesting algae from eutrophic lakes with the dual purpose of improving water quality and using the algal biomass as a biofertilizer.”
Thank you, Mary Beth, for your cheerful service, and for your dedication to helping youth blossom into knowledgeable earth stewards who can lead all of us toward more sustainable relationships with the environment and each other! We’ll miss you, and wish you all the best in your retirement.