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 Cuyamaca Employee Receives Environmental Educator Award

Katie Andersen, COS Outdoor Ed SpecialistKatie Andersen, outdoor education specialist at Cuyamaca Outdoor School (COS), was recently recognized for her “tremendous contributions to the lives of young people” during her long career in outdoor education.  

Andersen was awarded the 2019 Environmental Educator of the Year – southern region by the California Association of Environmental & Outdoor Education (AEOE).

Katie was nominated multiple times by coworkers at COS, where she has worked for 16 years. Principal Greg Schuett was one of the individuals who nominated Andersen.

“During her time at COS, Katie has made many valuable contributions toward improving the program,” said Schuett. “She has volunteered for countless projects and committees, applying her skills in lesson planning, curriculum development, writing complex schedules, and more.”

In the nomination submittals, her colleagues said that Andersen’s number one goal as a professional is to protect the environment by educating young people about their role in the environment and also providing them tremendous agency as changemakers and citizen scientists. In addition, they said she brings a love and respect for science and nature to every student she teaches and her enthusiasm for citizen science and its promise to save the environment is both admirable and contagious.

“I know that I work very hard each week to make sure my students connect with nature in a meaningful way,” said Andersen. “I want to thank those folks who took time to nominate me for the award because they recognized my efforts, and I also want to acknowledge the work of my fellow nominees who are just as passionate about outdoor and environmental education as I am.”

Andersen joined the COS staff in 2003. Prior to her time at COS, she worked as a classroom teacher and a Girl Scout counselor. When she is not working, she volunteers for the Girl Scouts, the California School Employees Association, and AEOE. She has been an AEOE volunteer since 2012 and has served as board secretary since 2014.