Diane Ethier, Pomfret Center, Connecticut
After the school explosion, laws were passed to require a warning odor in natural gas but other recommendations have yet to be implemented in most 21st century schools -- to hire technically trained administrators for modern school systems, to conduct more rigid inspections and more widespread public education, and to adopt a comprehensive, rational safety code.
To date, Ethier has done sixty trainings including IAQ Basics, School Walkthroughs, Refresher and Custodian Programs for personnel from 200 school districts. Ethier has also presented on "Indoor Air Quality in Schools" at both Connecticut Education Association and National Education Association Conferences.
When the town selectman turned down Dr. Storey's offer to evaluate the high school for free, Ethier decided she was "not going to take it anymore." She turned anger into action. Ethier conducted a teacher's health survey. 60% of the teachers reported that they were affected by poor IAQ in the building but only two teachers were willing to say it publicly.