The Council of Refrigeration Educators (CARE) and HVAC Excellence announced the winners of the D. Brian Baker Memorial Scholarship. The scholarships were granted to Derek Leake of Greene County Technical Education Center in Stanardsville, VA and Brittany Wagoner of UEI College in Ontario, CA.

D. Brian Baker was a dedicated HVACR professional and educator who was passionate about the industry. He was a true advocate for continual professional development. Baker attended every conference and training session that he could, coupled with the knowledge that working and teaching in the trade wasn’t just a job, but a passion he shared with all he met.

To honor his memory, the D. Brian Baker Memorial Scholarship was established to aid new instructors in professional development. Leake and Wagoner, the recipients of the scholarship, will be attending the 2022 National HVACR Educators and Trainers Conference — registration, airfare, and hotel included.

The 2022 National HVACR Education Conference will offer them the opportunity to attend over 70 in-person training sessions, while meeting face-to-face with industry leading organizations. In addition, they will continue their training once they return home, through summer sessions offered on the HVACR Learning Network.

The goal of the event is to help instructors, regardless of where they are at in their careers, be more effective in their roles. Both Leake and Wagoner will now have the opportunity to learn first-hand from manufacturers and associations about the new equipment, refrigerants, and controls that just became available. With over 100 sessions in-person and online, they will have an opportunity to learn a great deal over the next few months, including teaching strategies to help them become more effective in their new roles.

“We are proud to partner with HVAC Excellence to make this scholarship happen,” said CARE’s Kevin Couch. “We were amazed with the number of applications we received this year. We would like to acknowledge and thank the Baker family for allowing us to offer this scholarship in D. Brian Baker’s honor."

The Council of Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Educators (CARE) is a non-profit membership-based organization dedicated to supporting HVACR educators through networking and educational opportunities. CARE’s membership includes HVACR instructors, administrators and other HVACR industry personnel across North America.

Organizations interested in improving education in the HVACR industry can do so by donating to the scholarship fund or participating in the National HVACR Education Conference.