From Left to Right: Cindy Kilpatrick, Joy Barney, Sandy Gresham, Susan Campbell, and Robert Taylor.
Joy Barney, California
Joy Barney, Conservation Education Program Specialist with the U.S. Forest Service’s Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, coordinates and implements programs that connect children and adults to nature in five counties around Lake Tahoe. She has spent her career working in California’s parks and forests. When she came to Lake Tahoe in 2007, she found many children were surrounded by the forest but not connected to it. In response, she developed
innovative programs for Kindergarten through high school students. She created Generation Green of Lake Tahoe, through which high school students learn job skills, teamwork, and an understanding of natural resource management. With a grant from PLT’s GreenWorks! service-learning program, she developed the Angora Burn Tree Education and Planting project, which involved students and the community in learning about and contributing to forest restoration after the devastating 2007 Angora Fire. She also helped establish the South Tahoe Environmental Education
Coalition, made up of government agencies, schools, and nonprofit groups.
Cindy Kilpatrick, Louisiana
Cindy Kilpatrick is the Environmental Science Facilitator at Oil City Magnet School. She works with teachers in grades K-7 to coordinate environmental education field studies, enrichment lessons, and science programs. Oil City Magnet School has received national recognition for incorporating environmental education throughout the curriculum to improve student learning. With PLT as a catalyst, Cindy has helped students create a nature trail, gardens, bird feeding and watching stations, and other projects. A teacher for more than 34 years, she led the initiative to make Oil City a PLT-certified school. Enrollment and test scores continue to rise, and staff, students, and parents are energized. As a result, the district school board voted last year to add 7th and 8th grades to the school.
Robert Taylor, Maine
As District Gifted and Talented Coordinator and Science Teacher at Jay Middle and High Schools, Robert Taylor looks for leadership opportunities to challenge his students. As the Jay High School Envirothon Advisor for the past 17 years, he uses PLT activities to prepare students to win regional and state competitions. He also involves students in outdoor learning and community service projects, such as improving the Jay Recreation Area. The students have helped develop a plan for a well-managed timber harvest on the property that will provide funding to support recreational opportunities in the community. Robert has also helped students build a solar-powered greenhouse, and they are learning about sustainability by researching and developing a school wind turbine and a composting program.
Sandy Gresham, South Carolina
A long-time advocate of environmental education, Sandy Gresham was first introduced to Project Learning Tree in 2008 and used it to transform Lowcountry Preparatory School. She trained the entire faculty in the use of PLT curriculum, helping teachers in all subjects incorporate environmental themes into their classes. Sandy helped the school’s board of directors develop a strategic plan for the school that emphasizes environmental education as a core value. Through her efforts, Lowcountry became a PLT certified school and is now also a model example of how students are using their knowledge and skills from science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) courses to reduce their school’s environmental footprint using PLT’s GreenSchools! Investigations – and save their school money! Now retired and living in the western part of South Carolina, Gresham has continued to work with schools in McCormick County in support of environmental education and PLT.
Susan Campbell, Texas
Susan Campbell, Education Coordinator for the City of San Antonio Parks and Reccreation Natural Areas, was recognized for her enthusiasm and creativity in educating Texans of all ages about the environment. Among her many initiatives, she developed URock! Get Outdoors, a one-week camp for middle school students from the southside of San Antonio. She also leads field tours along the Medina River for thousands of students and adults each year. She has created programs for home-schooled students, senior adults, and students at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) who are studying to become classroom teachers. Susan serves on the advisory board of the SAVE (Strengthening Awareness and Valuing the Environment) Program, which provides environmental education training to more than 500 teachers every year. She is currently South Texas representative on the board of the Texas Association for Environmental Education and is a member of the Pre-Service Teacher Advisory Board at UTSA.