Education and Workforce Development Cabinet
Professional environmental educators will graduate May 29

Press Release Date:  Friday, May 29, 2015  
Contact Information:   

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 29, 2015) – Twenty environmental educators from across the Commonwealth will graduate from the Professional Environmental Educator Certification (PEEC) program at a ceremony at the state capitol rotunda in Frankfort today. Thomas Zawacki, secretary of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, will deliver the keynote address.


The newly certified professional environmental educators completed the state’s rigorous PEEC course that was conducted from November 2014 through May 2015. The course is offered by the Kentucky Environmental Education Council (KEEC), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.


The PEEC course, now with 187 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. The Guidelines for Excellence in Environmental Education are produced by the North American Association for Environmental Education.


“After offering this course for a decade, KEEC has found an increased level of camaraderie and professionalism across the field of environmental education in Kentucky. Graduates of the course are better able to offer quality services and programs on behalf of their organizations, benefiting the entire Commonwealth,” said Elizabeth Schmitz, executive director of the KEEC.


The following 20 people will be recognized as certified professional environmental educators:


Anderson County - Chad Von Gruenigen

Boone County - Rex McBride

Campbell County - Rosie Santos

Fayette County - Emily Casey, Kelly Rexroat, Kara Sayles, Laurie Thomas, Russ Turpin and Danny Woolums

Green County - Tyrone Gentry

Jefferson County - Carrie Mook, Jared Smith, Olivia Kaiser and Ginny Delaney

Jessamine County - Sarah Cummins

Kenton County - Jennifer Beach

Metcalfe County - Jamie Avery

Nelson County - Robin Magruder

Taylor County - Suzanne Ince

Woodford County - Emily DeMoor


Certified professional environmental educators are required to complete annual continuing education in order to renew their certification. Those who renew for at least six years receive the master environmental educator designation.


For more information about the PEEC course, visit or contact Elizabeth Schmitz at or 502-564-5937.