Passing the Torch

Oct. 1, 2021
Kerry Schwartz and APW team members

The Olympic flame is said to symbolize the light of spirit, knowledge, and life. The passing of the torch from runner to runner, acknowledges collective human achievements as they move from community to community, spreading goodwill to all. 

Light is also a universal symbol of wisdom, revealing lessons learned from trying experiences and powerful inspiration from within. Kerry Schwartz has been that light for many. Her relentless pursuit of inspiring young minds and molding the next generation of water stewards is unparalleled. Her insights reshaped Arizona Project WET from its original train-the-trainer format to a fresh approach, not only educating teachers but students and community members as well. She, and the team she built, are responsible for bringing water-wise education to literally hundreds of thousands of Arizonans and others around the country.

At Kerry's recent retirement celebration in Tucson and the leadership transition celebration held in Phoenix, it was only natural that Kerry passed her torch of water wisdom to long-time team member, Holly Hilburn-Thomas. Holly has worked her way up through the ranks from Instructional Specialist to Tucson Education Coordinator, proving at every turn she has what it takes to lead APW into the future.

As Kerry retires her running shoes for hiking boots, searching for new headwaters in her own life, she can rest assured that Holly will take the torch with wisdom and pride, and continue the tradition of expanding water education in an ever-evolving and challenging climate, setting new gold standards for future generations.