Educator and volunteer, Sharon Milito, honored with Spirit of the Springs Award

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Mayor John Suthers presented the Spirit of the Springs Celebration Award to Sharon Milito, a retired local elementary school teacher, during a surprise presentation at the Red Rock Canyon Bioblitz on July 21. Milito, who taught fourth grade at District 11’s Patrick Henry Elementary School, was honored for her enduring commitment to science education and ongoing volunteer efforts.

“Sharon’s passion for science and history permeates throughout our community,” said Mayor Suthers. “As a teacher, she led students to engage in their natural environments outside of school, and her commitment to creating excitement around natural sciences extends beyond the classroom and into the community, where she regularly volunteers to study and share the important geological and paleontological attributes of our local natural resources. Her passion and leadership in our community is inspiring.”

Milito’s style of encouraging science through discovery garnered her the 2011 American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Teacher of the Year in Natural Resources and Earth Sciences. As a volunteer geology and paleontology researcher with the City and Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Milito authored the report, Fossils and Geologic Points of Interest in Red Rock Canyon Open Space, which aided the City in making recommendations for preservation of specific sites in Red Rock Canyon. In addition to her stewardship efforts, Milito spearheaded the first Bioblitz for the parks, recreation and cultural services department, and helped to coordinate Bioblitz events in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

The Office of the Mayor welcomes the opportunity to recognize exceptional individuals and organizations within the City of Colorado Springs with a Spirit of the Springs Celebration Award. These awards are presented to recipients by the Mayor or an official designee to honor them for outstanding achievements. For more information, visit

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