KAEE Excellence in Environmental Education Awards
2018 Award Winners
Terry Wilson, Western Kentucky University
Dr. Terry L. Wilson recently retired as the Director and Professor of the Center for Environmental
Education and Sustainability at Western Kentucky University (WKU), a program designed to
encourage the collaboration of educators, scientists, and the general public. Terry spent
most of his career specializing in teacher and leadership training in environmental education.
Besides working with thousands of teachers in Kentucky and much of the U.S., he has also
conducted extensive international training in environmental education for educators and
natural resource managers throughout North America, as well as South America, Asia, and
Europe. Terry served as President of KAEE and NAAEE and, in 2006, was the recipient of the
Walter E. Jeske Award, the field of environmental education’s highest honor, given each year
by NAAEE. Both at the state and national level, Terry’s name is well-known and respected in
the environmental education community. His extensive work in the field and, more particularly
in KAEE and NAAEE, has had a profound impact on these organizations and the leadership
they provide to this today.
Congratulations to Terry for receiving the KAEE 2018 Excellence in EE Lifetime Achievement Award.
M.K. Dickerson Outstanding Educator:
Tracy Knowles, Bluegrass & Community Technical College
Professor Tracy Knowles teaches environmental science and chemistry at Bluegrass Community & Technical College. She has long been at the forefront of environmental education in our state. In the last year, she has continued this tradition of excellence by serving as BCTC’s coordinator for a nationwide, NASA-funded high altitude ballooning project that not only collected scientific data from the stratosphere but also sent back images and video of the
August 2017 total solar eclipse. In 2018 she has continued this tradition by offering a brand new class in Environmental Communication, where she is teaching her students how to present scientific data, prepare reports for professionals and laypersons, and write grants. Her imagination, vision, and commitment to the success and development of her students have consistently extended beyond the technical requirements of her job description.
Congratulations to Tracy for being named KAEE’s 2018 M.K. Dickerson Outstanding Educator!
Rising Star in Environmental Education:
Zach Mullins, Emmalena Elementary
Mr. Mullins has breathed new life into his science department at Emmalena Elementary. He’s single-handedly through donations and his own expense, reopened and refurbished the school’s greenhouse. Through the greenhouse he has taught the value of recycling and growing sustainable foods to feed hungry families in a poverty stricken area. His students get hands-on experience working the greenhouse themselves after his explicit instruction. He
inspires, motivates and challenges young adults to better the environment and leave an area better than they found it. The kids beam with pride when they compost and grow delicious fruits and vegetables. Given the opportunity and funding, there is no limit to what this young man could do in the area of environmental education.
Congratulations to Zach on being the 2018 KAEE Excellence in EE Rising Star!
Business of the Year:
Paladin takes pride in promoting environmental education in the built environment. Their projects are cross-cutting, establishing building systems that are environmentally-friendly and promote the health and well-being of the communities they serve. Paladin’s advocacy for environmental education and literacy does not exist exclusively at the project level. Paladin provides environmental education through presentations, blogs, lunch-and-learns, and
training opportunities geared to members of the building community. The combination of building-specific training plus environmental outreach emphasizes Paladin’s commitment to increasing awareness of how communities engage with our buildings. Modern facilities are much more than four concrete walls; they are key parts of today’s culture and how we use them impacts our collective future. Environmental education is a key component of our success.
Congratulations to Paladin on recognition as the 2018 Excellence in EE Business of the Year!
Northern Kentucky University's Center for Integrative Natural Science and Mathematics
Northern Kentucky University’s Center for Integrative Natural Science and Mathematics (CINSAM) has been a major player in helping instill environmental education into the classrooms with which they partner in their Next Generation Science Classroom project. Under Ella Bowling’s current leadership as the STEM outreach director, they have taken this approach and really meshed it with the entire project, serving all 28 districts under their umbrella. All of
the lessons delivered to teachers in the Fall of 2017 involved some aspect of environmental education. CINSAM consistently offers an incredible array of summer camps that encourage students to find a love for environmental education. CINSAM strives to find ways to engage teachers and students in environmental education and fostering deeper appreciation for the Commonwealth.
Congratulations to CINSAM for its recognition as the 2018 KAEE Excellence in EE Outstanding Community Partner!
K-12 School of the Year
Cassidy Elementary School is dedicated to using environmental education to create engaged learners through a myriad of avenues such as the science/STEM lab, Science Club, and the Science Garden. With strong support from the administration and families, Cassidy implemented a Science Garden that serves as an outdoor learning facility where students engage in hands-on, project-based learning. Cassidy hosted KAEE’s 2nd Annual Outdoor Learning Symposium and presented at conferences such as the KAEE Annual Conference and Kentucky Association of School Councils mini-conference. Cassidy’s science/STEM teacher, Kristi Fehr, also participates in the Fayette County Outdoor Classroom Coalition where she provides other educators with information on using outdoor learning spaces.
Congratulations to Cassidy Elementary for its recognition as the 2018 KAEE Excellence in EE Outstanding K-12 School of the Year!