The Appalachian Trail Education Advisory Council (ATEACH) was formed in July, 2011.  It is composed of an Appalachian Trail maintaining club member and a teacher from each of the four regions of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) plus 1 higher education member, 3 at-large reps, and members from the National Park Service, US Forest Service and the ATC.  Our mission statement is to support the continued growth, viability, and relevance of the education programs and workshops.  Our purpose is to serve as liaisons and ambassadors to Trail To Every Classroom (TTEC) educators and alumni and 31 AT clubs as well as to advise the ATC staff on emerging questions, issues, and opportunities.  We aspire to meet once a year, face to face, and bimonthly conference calls to fulfill our mission and purpose.

We support ATC with planning, recruitment, agenda development, and instruction at regional PD workshops, and provide ongoing support to educators after workshops. 

Members of the ATEACH (organized South to North):

Sue Garcia, New England Teacher Representative & Advisory Council Co-Chair

Sue Garcia is a science teacher for elementary grades 3-5 at Morningside Community School in Pittsfield MA.  Pittsfield is the largest city in western MA.  She teaches science through hands on experiences including taking her kids out on the AT.  This is the first experience in the woods and out of a city for many of her students, even though she lives and works with in the Berkshires.  Sue has been part of the advisory council for 5 years and has been a teacher for 25 years, in two states and 4 different schools, her focus has always been holistic authentic teaching of the whole child and outdoor education has been an essential pillar of her teaching.  
Jan Onan, Southern Region Trail Club Rep & Advisory Council Co-Chair
As a Carolina Mountain Club (CMC) member and hike leader, I had the privilege to experienced TTEC in 2008 with 2 elementary teachers from Hendersonville, NC. Since developing and implementation of our curriculum, I continue to look for ways to encourage CMC members to connect with youth to get them on the trail. TTEC has expanded my view of the A.T. from just a "through hiker's path" to something much more compelling.  I lead the CMC's education committee and a Youth Partner Challenge in North Carolina.

Tom Sewell, Southern Region Teacher Representative
Tom Sewell retired last year as a teacher after 23 years in public and private: most years teaching earth science. He has been an active adopt-a-stream trainer in Georgia. He has a passion for outdoor learning as a means to get students not only learning hands on science but then how to take that forward in everyday life. As a former TTEC participant he looks forward to sharing with you how to implement place based learning at your school with your students and how to meet your state mandated curriculum and teacher evaluations.

Ashley Cannon, Virginia Teacher Representative
I'm Ashley Duncan-Cannon, I live in Glade Spring, Virginia.  I am currently as a physical education teacher in Smyth County Virginia, at Sugar Grove Elementary School and Atkins Elementary School.  I got involved in TTEC because of a co-worker that I went through the program.  I then started up a program at my schools to take the students on the AT for a hike/outdoor classroom every year.  We just completed the 5th year. Ashley has inspired 16 of her students to thru hike the Appalachian Trail!

Lana Bluege, New England Club Rep
Lana C. Bluege recently accepted the NERO AC Representative position with TTEC. She is the Outreach Coordinator and Trail Maintainer for the AMC CT Chapter and has been an avid hiker along the AT since she was around 10 years old. Currently Lana is working towards her Master Degree in Resource Management and Conservation at Antioch University New England. When Lana is not hitting the books, she can be found hiking with her two dogs or practicing yoga.

Robert Siudzinski, At Large Rep, Amherst College
As a higher-education professional, Robert's passion is the power of place-based service learning, creative collaborations among diverse partners, and helping learners explore the educational value in making mistakes. Dr. Siudzinski’s contributions include creating an experiential leadership development program at The College of Charleston, launching an innovative engineering course for NASA, developing a place-based global teaching program at Washington College, and now in his leadership of the Careers in Education Professions program at Amherst College, Massachusetts. 

A proud promoter of "to every classroom" programs, TTEC Advisory Council member Robert has been researching experiential learning since the early 1990's, and place and community-based learning since 2001. Recent projects include the preparation of pre-service teachers and informal educators with place-based pedagogies and curricula, and highlighting the powerful merits of place-based service learning as an innovative practice within K-16 learning environments. Robert, partner Meghan, and two young daughters adore living and hiking in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts.

Betty Gatewood, At Large Rep, Mid-Atlantic Region
Midway through my college career, I changed my interest from laboratory science to the “outdoor” sciences of ecology and natural history; I've been outdoors ever since ~ observing, hiking, skiing, teaching, learning, sharing, documenting, journaling, and painting. Professionally, I have been a middle school science teacher, a Vermont State Park Ranger/Naturalist, the Teacher-in-Residence at Mary Baldwin College assisting teachers in getting students outside to learn, an instructor of a community college hiking course, and most recently a Shenandoah National Park Interpretive Ranger where I interpreted and shared Shenandoah National Park's natural wonders with park visitors. I live in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley and have been active in our local hiking club (Southern Shenandoah Valley Chapter of Potomac Appalachian Trail Club) for (?15?) years.  In 2008, I was in the TTEC cohort, and have since involved students in service/learning on the Appalachian Trail with husband, Mark, who is the PATC district co-manager for the southern trails in Shenandoah National Park.  Even though I'm no longer in the classroom, I have connections to teachers/students and encourage them to become students AND stewards of the AT. I've served on the Advisory Council since... (?2011?), and have offered nature journaling sessions for TTEC cohorts since 2009.  
Janet Steinert, At Large Rep, New England Region
Janet Steinert, a new at-large representative from Vermont, has been part of TTEC for the past 7 years. She was the assistant principal at Whitefield School, a K-8 school which is located at the foot of the White Mountains. In 2013, Steinert retired to hike the Appalachian Trail, and she completed her journey in 2014.  She has worked with a great team of teachers to establish the Whitefield Wilderness Explorers, an outdoor club that is open to students in grades five through eight. The club began small and now has over 50 members—huge for the tiny rural middle school population. This year, a new team of teachers, along with a veteran TTEC alumna, from Whitefield School will learn more about place-based teaching through participation in TTEC. We are excited!

Delia Clark, New England Region and ATC Stewardship Council
Delia Clark's work focuses on engaging citizens in their communities through place-based education, community visioning, dialogue, and school/community partnerships.  She is a frequent trainer, speaker, and facilitator in these areas throughout the United States and Central/Eastern Europe, for organizations that include National Park Service, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Shelburne Farms, QLF/Atlantic Center for the Environment, US Forest Service, and Iditarod Historic Trail Alliance.  She served as Director of the Center for Place-based Learning and Community Engagement, a program of the National Park Service Conservation Study Institute, Shelburne Farms, and Marsh Billings Rockefeller National Historical Park.  She also co-founded Antioch New England Institute of Antioch University and co-founded and served as Executive Director of Vital Communities.  Delia is the co-author of Questing: A Guide to Creating Community Treasure Hunts published by University Press of New England, Community Vision to Action Forums: An Organizers Guide to Participatory Planning; and Learning to Make Choices for the Future: Connecting Public Lands, Schools and Communities Through Place-based Learning and Civic Engagement, which have collectively been translated into six languages.
Tamra L. Willis, Ph.D Higher Education Rep, Mary Baldwin College
Tamra Willis is the TTEC Graduate Course Instructor. Tamra is an associate professor in the College of Education at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia.  With a focus on outdoor learning, Tamra started and directs the Master of Education in Environment-Based Learning (EBL), a program designed for K-12 teachers and outdoor educators who use the natural environment to teach all subjects.  The EBL program is about real-world connections to learning, so that students explore the world around them, investigate the natural order of things, and discover for themselves how others perceive the world. Students are able to study every subject as they research, investigate, and debate issues, draw their own conclusions about challenges facing the world and develop and act upon possible solutions. Her commitment to and knowledge of the benefits of EBL have led Tamra to obtain a number of grants involving partnerships between MBC and area school divisions; since 2001, these projects have provided professional development for teachers and supported their efforts to implement Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEE), helping students understand their connections to the Shenandoah Valley environment and the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Dr. Willis lives on a mountain farm with her husband, Michael Pelton, where they spend lots of time hiking and gardening.

Julie Judkins, Education and Outreach Director
ATC Southern Regional Office, Asheville NC
Julie Judkins is the Director of Education and Outreach for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), working out of the Southern Regional Office in Asheville, NC.  Julie joined the Appalachian Trail Conservancy in early 2004.  She leads the Appalachian Trail Community and Trail To Every Classroom programs, and the Broader Relevancy work outlined in ATC's new strategic plan including diversity, inclusion, wellness and youth programming.  Julie provides protection and sensitive stewardship of the Appalachian Trail footpath and associated resources through effective implementation of a cooperative management system involving ATC, Trail maintaining clubs, and public-agency partners.  She also regularly contributes her time to the Partnership for the National Trails System, including conference and workshop planning.

Prior to working with ATC, Julie served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Armenia and with Hurricane Island Outward Bound in Key Largo, an at-risk program for youth.  She has a BA in Communications from North Carolina State University, and a Masters of Environmental Management through Duke’s Leadership program at the Nicholas School of Environment.

Kathryn Herndon, Education and Outreach Coordinator
ATC Central and Southwest Virginia Regional Office, Roanoke VA
Kathryn Herndon is the Education and Outreach Coordinator in the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Central and Southwest Virginia Regional Office in Roanoke, VA.  She serves as ATC’s trail-wide coordinator for the Trail To Every Classroom program. Before joining ATC in her current capacity, Kathryn spent 5 field seasons on the A.T. as a Backcountry Caretaker in Vermont and a Crew Leader for the Konnarock and Rocky Top Volunteer Trail Crews in the south.  In the winters, she worked as an after-school teacher in inner city West Philadelphia, and as a tutor and after-school group leader with the Boys & Girls Club in North Carolina.  In her current position, Kathryn is thrilled to combine her passion for A.T. conservation and her conviction in the power of creative and engaging educational practices. She completed a thru-hike of the A.T. in 2006, and thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 2010.

Katie Mann
ATC New England Regional Office, White River Junction, VT
Katie is the new Outreach Coordinator for the New England Regional Office. She comes to ATC with a background in natural resource protection and restoration as well as volunteer coordination and management. She holds a B.S. in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico and a M.S. in Geography from the University of Nevada. Katie loves to get people excited about and out into the natural areas around which they live and has taught and mentored students of all ages in settings from informal after-school programs to university lectures. Katie is an avid hiker and backpacker and is thrilled to be part of the ATC team. 

No comments:

North Carolina NCCAT participants

North Carolina NCCAT participants
At the Wayah Bald Fire Tower

Mary Jane

Mary Jane
On top of Silers Bald