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Wheeler among 20 KEEC program graduates

Education & Workforce Development Cabinet
press release

FRANKFORT — Twenty environmental educators from across the Commonwealth graduated from the Kentucky Environmental Education Council’s (KEEC) Professional Environmental Educator Certification (PEEC) program at a ceremony at the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort Monday.

Among the 20 graduates being recognized at the Capitol ceremony was Amanda Wheeler, a Lincoln County resident.

KEEC, an agency within the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, is one of only three national certification programs accredited by the North American Association for Environmental Education.

Jane Eller, former executive director of the KEEC and founder of the Professional Environmental Educator Certification course, delivered the keynote address.

The newly certified professional environmental educators completed the state’s rigorous PEEC course that was conducted from October 2018 – May 2019.

The 20 people recognized as Certified Professional Environmental Educators were:

* Michelle Berendsen, Madison County

* Judy Brookhiser, Calloway County

* Ashley Brown, Franklin County

* Elizabeth Chunglo, Boyle County

* Jeri Howell, Franklin County

* Rachel Hungler, Kenton County

* Erin James, Jefferson County

* Rae McEntyre, Gallatin County

* Jaime Moore, Clark County

* Hannah Nickell, Livingston County

* Cassandra Odom, Fayette County

* Tammy Reed, Nelson County

* Delaney Rockrohr-Eaton, Warren County

* Erin Sliney, Clark County

* Sarah Steele, Kenton County

* Zachary Walter, Boyd County

* Kelly Watson, Fayette County

* Mahala Watts, Madison County

* Amanda Wheeler, Lincoln County

* Robyn Whitted, Fayette County

The PEEC course, now with 233 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. This year’s course includes, for the first time, members of the new Environmental Education Leadership Corps, an AmeriCorps program conducted by KEEC.

“We are excited and proud to have the addition of the inaugural members of the Environmental Education Leadership Corps in our class today and we hope that they have found this course to be a positive experience that will help them in their future employment,” said Billy Bennett, executive director of the KEEC.

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. The list of all Certified Professional Environmental Educators is on the KEEC website at https://keec.ky.gov/EECertification/Pages/CertifiedEnvironmentalEducators.aspx.

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