Superintendents Environmental Education Collaborative

February 18, 2019

2019-superintendents-conference-field-tripThe Superintendents Environmental Education Collaborative (SEEC) is a partnership between School Superintendents and environmental education partners—PLT, the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) and Upstream Alliance. Currently, about 20 Superintendents from 17 states are helping us educate school administrators across the United States on the benefits of environmental education to encourage more schools to integrate environmental education into the K-12 classroom.

Hundreds of public school superintendents met in Los Angeles, Feb. 14-16, for the 2019 National Conference on Education hosted by the School Superintendents Association (AASA).

As part of the conference,

  • SEEC organized a whale watching field trip for 47 superintendents and SEEC leaders. Read about the experiential field trip in this blog “New Learning on the High Seas” by Jeanne Collins, Superintendent for the Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union in Vermont.
  • We also hosted a conference session to provide an overview of opportunities and resources for school district leaders interested in introducing or scaling environmental education to support student achievement.
Dr. Sean McPhetridge

In the session, six superintendents described their districts’ environmental education programs:

  • Dr. Sean McPhetridge, Superintendent for California’s Alameda Unified School District and Co-Chair of SEEC, talked about his district’s systemic environmental education program across the Bay Area.
  • Dr. Andrea Kane, Superintendent of Maryland’s Queen Anne’s County Public Schools and Co-Chair of SEEC, gave an overview of SEEC and Dr. Kevin Maxwell, former Co-Chair of SEEC and former Chief of Maryland’s Prince George’s County Public Schools, highlighted ways superintendents can become involved.
  • Dr. Aaron Spence, Superintendent of the Virginia Beach School District, described how his school district’s commitment to sustainability has led to construction of 10 LEED certified schools.
  • Brendan Menuey, Executive Principal of Virginia’s Fairfax County School District, stressed the value of an interdisciplinary approach to environmental education in his district. He says, “Pick one path and just do it.”
  • Dr. Dan Curry, Superintendent of Maryland’s Calvert County School District, shared how his district is using drones to map their area to help students learn more about their place in the world.
Superintendents look at star fish with smartphone microscope adapter


Kudos to Esther Cowles (PLT), Sarah Bodor (NAAEE), Don Baugh and Erica Baugh (Upstream Alliance) and consultant Kathy McGlauflin for organizing the field trip and the session. See our photo album on Facebook.

SEEC is spreading the word that Title IV of the Every Student Succeeds Act allows for federal funds to be used for environmental education programming. We are sharing information about state programs that can help train teachers, provide resources and support. And we are highlighting additional funding opportunities for school districts for environmental education, for example, from federal agencies for larger initiatives and from state agencies or local and regional private grantmakers.

For more information, visit the SEEC website.

Vanessa Bullwinkle

Vanessa Bullwinkle

Vanessa Bullwinkle is Director of Communications & Marketing for Project Learning Tree.