PEI Regional Coordinators

PEI's Julie Tennis Leaves Lasting Impact on Coastal Classrooms

The Olympic Peninsula is home to some of the most remote school districts in Washington State, meaning teachers who want to improve their practice often have to travel up to four hours to attend professional workshops. Fortunately, for the past eight years, they’ve have had the advantage of an exceptional guide and mentor delivering training opportunities to their doorsteps: PEI’s Coastal FieldSTEM Coordinator Julie Tennis. As 2023 draws to a close, Tennis is moving on PEI to pursue other passions, but her impact will remain in classrooms throughout the region.

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PEI Special Event

Deadline Extended for Environmental and Sustainability Literacy Student Summit

On February 23, 2023, PEI will host an Environmental and Sustainability Literacy Summit at New Market Skills Center in Tumwater, WA. Student teams from grades K-12 are invited to bring project displays that highlight learning and student activities in focused climate and environmental education topic areas. Selected projects will have the opportunity to present their projects to Washington state department and agency leaders, state policy leaders and legislators. Both Governor Inslee and Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal will be attending. Applications due January 6, 2023. 
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Funding Opportunity

Environmental Literacy Grants

OSPI, through the Environmental Literacy Grants (ELG), is providing funding to support the implementation of projects that increase educators' capacity to take youth outdoors for learning. These are reimbursement grants that can fund projects like:
  • Educator and administrator training/professional learning
  • Construction of accessible outdoor learning spaces
  • Equipment and supplies to improve access and culturally responsive outdoor learning
Projects that serve Title 1, Title 3, Title 6, I.D.E.A., and/or 504 students will be prioritized. 
Note: The grant application deadline has been extended to January 20, 2023.
  • Grant Information Session (online-Click the link to register): January 9, 2023, 4-5 pm
  • Visit our Environmental Literacy Grant webpage to learn more about the 2023 ELG grant, an FAQ sheet, the scoring criteria, a comparison chart between the ELG and the Outdoor Learning Grant, as well as examples of 2022 ELG recipients.
  • Still more questions? Contact PEI's Environmental Literacy Grants Manager, Katie Hatam, at [email protected].
Apply Now

Teacher Tools

How to Make the Most of Winter Outdoor Activities

Source: Project Learning Tree

With many benefits of outdoor learning, the winter environment offers abundant learning opportunities for preschoolers and high schoolers alike. How do you make the most of outdoor activities for kids during the colder months? Molly Gillespie, Alaska’s Project Learning Tree Coordinator, recently shared some tips for teaching outdoors in the winter.

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Welcome New Staff

John Hunter

John grew up in Seaview and Long Beach and went to high school in Camas. He received a BA in Biology from Pacific Lutheran University and an MS in Biology from the University of Southern California where he worked in the “Worm Lab”. He worked as a curatorial assistant in the Invertebrate Department of Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology caring for one of the world’s largest spider collections. After teaching science in private schools for several years he worked as a non-formal science educator in upstate New York and was a deputy director for the Gannett School of Science and Man, a life-long learning program in the Rochester Museum and Science Center. He got a teaching certificate in secondary science through Connecticut’s Alternate Route to Certification II while delivering watershed education programs as a naturalist on the Schooner Quinnipiack. Returning to Washington in 2005, he taught science at Forks High School until he retired from classroom teaching in 2021.

He is a representative to the North Pacific Coast Marine Resources Committee and the alternate to the Education Seat on the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council. He also is a life member of the Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators. While he was a classroom teacher he built on what he learned in PEI workshops to engage his students in learning science that was happening on the Olympic Peninsula and was named FieldSTEM Teacher of the Year by PEI in 2020.

His natural habitat is outdoors, gardening or walking beaches, preferably with his grandchildren. During the monsoon season, he likes to read, cook, and fold origami.

Upcoming Events 

Date  Workshop Location (online)
Jan 26   FieldSTEM Implementation for District & School   Leadership  Statewide
Jan 31   District Leadership Work Session 1 Statewide
Feb 1   District Leadership Work Session 2 Statewide
Feb 8 & 22   SOLS: Solar ESD 105/171 regions**
Feb 9   Spring 2023 FieldSTEM Intro Series: High Impact Field   Experiences Statewide
Feb 11   Explore the Salish Sea Curriculum Tacoma SD**
Feb 15 & 28   FieldSTEM & PLT: FieldDesign - Focus on Environmental     Justice Statewide*
Feb 23   SOLS: Forest -Carbon for Grades 4-6 (Spanish) ESD 121 (PSESD) region**
Feb 25   SOLS: Forest -Carbon for Grades 9-12 (Spanish) ESD 121 (PSESD) region**

*Registration will open to the public at a later date.
**Not open to the public.

  With Gratitude

Thank you to last month’s donors and funders!

Forest Investment Associates
John Ison
Gail Kramer
Bill Monahan
Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)
Gareth Waugh
Donate to PEI
Copyright © 2023 Pacific Education Institute, All rights reserved.

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