Administrator Testimonials

Trail To Every Classroom (TTEC) has been incredibly beneficial to our school. Union County Middle School rests approximately 15 minutes from the Appalachian Trail. Over the past two years, our teachers have utilized the A.T. as a valuable teaching resource. We have placed over 600 students last year on the A.T. and another 570 students  have already hiked on the A.T. this school year. Many of our students had never seen the A.T., even with our close proximity to the trail.
Donny Kelley, Former Principal
Union County Middle School
When I became the assistant principal at Whitefield School in Whitefield, NH, it was a dream of mine to create an outdoor club so that the students would view the beauty of the wilderness, to feel the breeze from a mountaintop, and to know what it feels like to truly experience the alpines.  The Whitefield School sits at the foot of the White Mountains, yet most of our students had never experienced a walk in the woods.
In spite of my hope to have such a club, I had no idea how to take children out on a hike.  I had done much hiking along the A.T., but I did not have a clue about what I would need to take a group of children out on the trail.  The answer came in a small email from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, inviting educators to apply for the TTEC training in WV.  Two teachers and I responded and were fortunate to receive acceptance into the TTEC program.

The week that we spent at TTEC was an intense learning experience that included all the training we would need to take our students out while providing them with valuable lessons that matched our curriculum.  In the four years that we have partnered with TTEC, we have learned more and more connections to academics and personal living than we could ever gain from a workshop or other professional development activity. Our students have received rich, life-changing experiences that can only occur through the real life experiences they have had on the Trail.   
 We have taken many groups to the top of Mt. Washington where they have spent the night and touched the stars.  We now have a leadership program that provides students with the skills to lead their peers on hikes while practicing the principles of Leave No Trace and Hike Safe.  They share their skills in orienteering while leading team building activities.  We have grown from a small, but dedicated group of 19 students and staff to over 50 students in grades five through eight.  Our training through TTEC enabled us to create our Wilderness Explorers outdoor club.  The materials provided through TTEC allow us to assess the effectiveness of our activities so that we continually improve what we are able to offer our students.  We are growing, changing, and improving as each year goes by.
We also learned at TTEC what we need in order to sustain our work.  We have been able to build successful partnerships with community organizations like the North Country Health Consortium and the Appalachian Mountain Club.  Without their support, we could not offer the extent of the programs that we do. 
TTEC also provided us with a network of educators who have the same hopes that we have for our students.  We have maintained contact with many of the teachers that we met at TTEC and often see other TTEC-ies out on the trail with their students.  The teachers who have trained with us are not just colleagues; they are our friends.
We at Whitefield School tell our students that our school is where dreams come true.  Thanks to TTEC, our students know that their dreams will come true.  Thank you, TTEC!

Janet Steinart, Former Vice Principal 
The Whitfield School

I have attended many workshops offered by the Trail to Every Classroom program.  I think that the program is great for introducing young people to the experience of being outdoors, discovery, and service learning.  After attending one of the workshops, I started an after school outing club at my school where students have the opportunity to go outside, be active, and learn more about their surroundings.  The students love it and it has created positive interactions between our students and members of our staff.  We even started a program called Kinder Guides where some of our younger students actually guide elderly people along the trail.  This is a great way to establish positive relationships for our school with members of our community.
                The TTEC program provides excellent opportunities for our teachers to integrate science into these hiking field trips for our students.  Teachers are able to discuss subjects such as biology, animal adaptation, and botany while leading our students on small excursions on the AT.  This is the type of hands on learning that students remember for many years.
                The TTEC program is not only an excellent way to teach students new educational concepts, but it is also a great way to introduce students to service learning and stewardship associated with maintaining the trail.  Our students have planted trees near the trail and our Green Mountain Club routinely works on the trail to maintain it.  This is a fantastic way to increase awareness of the AT and for young people to understand the importance of the trail to our community and the other communities that it runs through. 
                The TTEC program also provides a unique professional development opportunity for teachers.  Most workshops are located on or near the trail, allowing teachers to collaborate with other individuals in their profession in a unique learning environment.   Overall, the TTEC is a great program for everyone involved, I hope that it continues for many years to come.

Michael Kornfeld
Ottauquechee School

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North Carolina NCCAT participants

North Carolina NCCAT participants
At the Wayah Bald Fire Tower

Mary Jane

Mary Jane
On top of Silers Bald