MONROE – Jamie Dunleavy became the first teacher in Union County to earn the Environmental Education Certificate, according to Union Academy.
Dunleavy completed the certification through instructional workshops, outdoor experiences, teaching and a community partnership project all totaling more than 200 hours. The four grade teacher built an outdoor classroom as part of the project.
“While we are fortunate to have walking trails, we needed a space for students to be able to gather to learn immersed in the natural world,” Dunleavy said. “With our recent construction, we had many felled trees available for use as bases for the benches. I wanted to repurpose these tree trunks so that they could not only support seating but pique the students’ curiosity. The trunks are examples of nature decomposing and the relationship between living things where you can find evidence of rot as well as patent leather beetles, fungi and other organisms.”
Dunleavy has been working to incorporate environmental education more into her classroom.
“I can’t wait for warmer weather to arrive so that my students can immerse themselves in the natural world as often as possible in our classes,” Dunleavy said.