As 2016 comes to a close, we take time to reflect on an amazing year of getting out into the communities we serve and educating and engaging with both youth and adults. Our year end totals for education events include teaching 2,325 students, planting 1,858 trees, and leading environmental education lessons for 4,577 hours! We also attended 40 community outreach events and got the chance to speak to 1,337 people. We know that our education program isn’t just about the numbers. The people we serve and get the opportunity to educate about salmon, clean water, and protecting our beautiful watersheds is at the heart of the work that we do. We feel so lucky to have those opportunities, and believe deep down that it is good and important work. Thank you all for another fruitful year.
Speaking of 2017, we have some big changes happening in January in the education department as we say a bittersweet goodbye to our beloved and highly-talented Education and Engagement Project Coordinator, Kelley Govan. She leaves for a yearlong adventure and learning opportunity in Costa Rica. We are so thrilled for this next chapter in her life. She leaves behind a strong legacy at SSS, and has been a leader in helping to develop a strong education program over the last three years. We will greatly miss her, but wish her luck in Costa Rica. Upon Kelley’s departure, we are excited to welcome Kelly Frazee onto our SSS team as the new E&E Project Coordinator. She comes to us after spending ten years at the Woodland Park Zoo in their education department. Kelly is a well-experienced educator, and we are supremely confident in her abilities to take over the teaching duties and help to continue to grow and develop our education programs. Welcome Kelly Frazee!
In January, we also welcome Kelly Bounxayavong, a UW Program on the Environment Capstone student who will be spending her winter quarter as our Education and Engagement Intern. Welcome Kelly Bounxayavong! And lastly, Martha Moritz, our E&E Program Coordinator is having a baby. She welcomes a little girl in February 2017, and so while she is on maternity leave, we are so fortunate to have the highly-capable Carolyn Alfano taking the helm in the Education department. Previously, Carolyn has run the Rare Plant Care and Conservation program at the UW’s Botanic Gardens and we are happy that she is bringing her strong program management skills to SSS while Martha is home with her new baby. We are looking forward to what 2017 will bring. Happy New Year!