Past Environmental Educator of the Year Award Winners
During the 2013-2014 year as a brand new naturalist at SJOE, Michael went above and beyond, building a cob oven in the program’s garden. At Summer Camp at YMCA Camp Jones Gulch, Michael is an Assistant Camp Director who firmly believes that no job is below his pay grade – he will do whatever it takes to support the campers, whether teaching them how to sew, leading an outdoor cooking specialty (in the cob oven he built), or driving campers and staff on the bus (which he calls the Mike Express!) When challenges arise, his positivity keeps camper and staff spirits high.
Michael has spearheaded many projects at Shady Creek that have improved the school. He has partnered with a local Boy Scout troop and helped two young men earn their Eagle Scout rank by coordinating the construction of a Cobb oven for the Shady Creek Garden, and coordinating the planting and care of a fruit tree orchard. And finally, Michael has contributed many ideas and procedures for improving safety at Shady Creek and making the response to emergencies more formalized and effective.
In Rhody’s words, "It is a great honor for me to receive this award. Also I want to send an appreciation to my family and all in the AEOE community who:
Rhody, we thank you for your contributions to the Environmental and Outdoor Education community!
2019 Southern EE'er of the Year - Katie Miller Andersen
Katie Miller Andersen was nominated for her tremendous contribution to the lives of young people in her long career in outdoor education. Katie was nominated multiple times by coworkers and supervisors at Cuyamaca Outdoor School, where she has worked for 16 years.
Katie started as a Girl Scout counselor, received her teaching credential, taught in the classroom for a year then was selected as an Outdoor Education Specialist for Cuyamaca in 2003 where she has served ever since. When Katie is not at work, she volunteers for the Girl Scouts, the California School Employees Association, and AEOE. She has been a dedicated AEOE volunteer since 2012 and our Board Secretary since 2014.
During her time at Cuyamaca, Katie has made many valuable contributions towards improving the program. She has volunteered for countless projects and committees, applying her skills in lesson planning, curriculum development, writing complex schedules, and more. Her colleagues tell us that Katie’s number one goal as a professional is to protect the environment by educating young people about their role in the environment and also providing them tremendous agency as changemakers and citizen scientists. She brings a love and respect for science and nature to every student she teaches and her enthusiasm for citizen science and its promise to save the environment is both admirable and contagious.
Katie, we thank you for your contributions to the Environmental and Outdoor Education community!
Past EE'ers of the Year