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Twenty-six of Kentucky’s environmental educators were recognized as Certified Professional Environmental Educators at a ceremony at the state capitol in Frankfort yesterday. Brad Montell, deputy secretary of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, delivered the keynote address.

The Certified Professional Environmental Educators completed the state’s rigorous Professional Environmental Educator Certification (PEEC) course that was conducted from November 2016 – May 2017. The course is offered by the Kentucky Environmental Education Council (KEEC), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

The PEEC course, now with 213 graduates since the program was launched in 2004, is based on national guidelines designed to professionalize the field of environmental education by standardizing best practices. It was accredited by the North American Association for Environmental Education in 2015.

“I was a relative newcomer to environmental education when I joined the 2007-2008 PEEC course, and the networking opportunities provided to me were immeasurably beneficial,” said Billy Bennett, now the executive director of the KEEC.

“In addition to numerous resources and contacts, I gained a much better understanding of environmental education’s role as it pertains to both formal and non-formal settings, especially presenting complex environmental issues without advocating for a particular viewpoint.”

The following 26 people were recognized as Certified Professional Environmental Educators:

  • Carmen Agouridis, Fayette County
  • Dale Booth, Franklin County
  • Susan Brown, Harlan County
  • Ashley Bryant Cheney, Fayette County
  • Jo Ann Corum, Clay County
  • Michael Downs, Fayette County
  • Joseph Franzen, Jefferson County
  • Jackie Gallimore, Fayette County
  • Jeanine Huss, Warren County
  • Tim Joice, Jefferson County
  • Jessica Kane, Jefferson County
  • Rebecca Konopka, Carter County
  • Megan McCarty, Fayette County
  • Katherine Morrison, Fayette County
  • Angie Muncy, Leslie County
  • Moria Painter, Russell County
  • Steven Rogers, Fayette County
  • Trinity Shepherd, Floyd County
  • April Simmons, Fayette County
  • Jen Smith, Morgan County, Indiana
  • Traci Tackett, Pike County
  • Jamie Thorn, Russell County
  • Jane Vanhook, Lincoln County
  • Heather Warman, Fayette County
  • Nic Williamson, Fayette County
  • Rachelle Wood, Jefferson County

Certified Professional Environmental Educators are required to complete annual continuing education to renew their certification. Those who renewed for at least six years receive the Master Environmental Educator designation.

Master Environmental Educator Jenny Howard Owen, who has participated in and taught the course, said, “In the academic context, environmental education (EE) is a fantastic approach for helping teachers and students connect classroom topics and lessons to real life. Outside the classroom, EE offers us tools for understanding how our daily lives and communities are directly affected by and connected to the natural environment.”

For more information about the PEEC course, visit keec.ky.gov or contact Wesley Bullock at wesley.bullock@ky.gov or 502-564-5937.

Kentucky students and teachers were recognized April 27 for their accomplishments at the Kentucky Green and Healthy Schools (KGHS) program and the Kentucky National Energy Education Development (KY NEED) Project’s 10th annual Youth Summit and Awards Luncheon in Frankfort. KGHS is a program of the Kentucky Environmental Education Council (KEEC).

The event recognized students and their outstanding projects in promoting school and community health and environmental sustainability. Examples of student projects included: worm composting at Providence Montessori Middle School; updating an outdoor classroom with benches made of recycled plastic caps at Morton Middle School; and teaching peers about healthy eating choices at Kit Carson Elementary School. In the morning, students showcased their energy, health and sustainability school projects to their peers, teachers and leaders in education, industry and environmental fields. Kentucky Education Commissioner Dr. Stephen Pruitt was the event’s featured speaker.

More than 200 students and teachers participated and were recognized for their efforts. Carla Trisko of Morton Middle School in Fayette County was recognized as the KGHS Teacher of the Year. Additional KY NEED schools were also honored for their projects.

“We are extremely proud of the schools that completed KGHS projects. The students, with the support of their teachers, have made significant improvements to the environment in a variety of ways,” Billy Bennett, executive director of KEEC in the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. “We are also grateful to Commissioner Pruitt for speaking and taking part in today’s celebration of their efforts.”

The following eight KGHS schools received awards:

Kit Carson Elementary School in Madison County
Lloyd Memorial High School in Kenton County
Morton Middle School in Fayette County
Providence Montessori Middle School in Fayette County
Redwood Cooperative School in Fayette County
Pikeville High School in Pike County
Virginia Chance School in Jefferson County
West Hardin Middle School in Hardin County

For more information about KGHS, please visit http://greenschools.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx.

The Kentucky Green and Healthy Schools (KGHS) program and the Kentucky National Energy Education Development (KY NEED) Project are hosting the 10th annual Youth Summit and Awards Luncheon April 27 in Frankfort. KGHS is a program of the Kentucky Environmental Education Council (KEEC).

The event will recognize students and their outstanding accomplishments in promoting school and community health and environmental sustainability. Examples of student projects include: worm composting at Providence Montessori Middle School, updating an outdoor classroom with benches made of recycled plastic caps at Morton Middle School, and teaching peers about healthy eating choices at Kit Carson Elementary School.

Students will showcase their projects beginning at 10 a.m. at the Frankfort Convention Center. At 11:15 a.m., Kentucky Education Commissioner Dr. Stephen Pruitt will be the keynote speaker.

More than 200 students and teachers will participate and be recognized. Nine KGHS schools will be given awards, and the KGHS Teacher of the Year will be announced. Additional KY NEED schools will also be honored for their projects.

  • WHO:     Kentucky Green and Healthy Schools
    Kentucky National Energy Education Development Project
  • WHAT:   KGHS and KY NEED Youth Summit and Awards Luncheon
  • WHEN:  Thursday, April 27, 2015, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Eastern time
  • WHERE: Frankfort Convention Center, 405 Mero St., Frankfort, KY 40601
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