EE Leadership

Phone: 262-970-1139

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Erica Yoss

K-12 Science and Environmental Education Coordinator 

How long have you worked with the EE program?
I’ve been in Waukesha as the science and environmental coordinator since 2014. Prior to being in Waukesha, I was a middle and high school science teacher in New Berlin. I live here in Waukesha, and my children attend the schools; I love being fully invested in our district!

What is your favorite grade level to teach? 
When I was in the classroom, I loved teaching 7th grade.  They had lots of energy and enthusiasm; no day was ever the same!  When I am able to work with students here at EB Shurts, I am finding that I really enjoy working with our kindergarteners; they love being outside and learning about all of our different animals.

What do you enjoy most about working with the EE program?
My favorite part of our program is seeing children having fun outdoors.  It is very important to me that we build an appreciation and awareness of our environment through play.

If you cou dlive in any ecosystem on the planet, which would you choose and why?
I would live in the coastal beach...but not during hurricane season ;) 

Phone: 262-970-4333

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Emma Koeppel


Environmental Education Site Manager

How long have you worked with the EE program?
 
I've been with the EE team since 2016
 
What is your favorite grade level to teach?
Since I spend a good portion of my time working in the office, I always enjoy the change of pace when I get to work with students in any grade level. My favorite field experience that we offer is the 6th grade experience at Camp Whitcomb Mason because the students are always amazed by the beautiful lake, forests, and trails out at camp. 
 
What do you enjoy most about working with the EE program? 
I love noticing the inate sense of wonder and curiousity that students have about nature. They always have such insightful questions. I also love the unexpected moments of joy and connection that we get to witness. And most of all I love working with such a fantastic team of people!
 
If you could live in any ecosystem on the planet, which would you choose and why? 
I would love to live next to a cold mountain stream in a wild-flower filled valley. 

EE Teachers

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Susan Baumgartner

 
How long have you worked with the EE program?
I started my adventure in the EE program in October of 2021.

What is your favorite grade level to teach?
I get something out of working with every grade, but the energy and enthusiasm of 2nd-5th grade is pretty spectacular. 

What do you enjoy most about working with the EE program?
When I look ahead to my day, there's an internal confidence in quality programs, fun, talented, and supportive co-workers, and a wonderfully diverse student body interacting in the great outdoors. What more could I want?

If you could live in any ecosystem anywhere on the planet, what would you choose and why?
I am pretty satisfied with where I live today but I can't pick just one system. If anything, I would love to be able to live right here in Waukesha but to be able to see what it was like 300-500 years ago. Our mixed hardwood forest, oak savanna, wetland, prairie, lake, and river ecosystems all bring me great feelings of peace, wonder, and beauty.

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Michelle Hughes

 
How long have you worked with the EE program?
Since September 2018. 

What is your favorite grade level to teach?
So far my favorite is our 4th grade program. I love it for many reasons but the best part for me is getting to look out over the fantastic landscape from the top of the lookout tower on Lapham Peak and discovering the view with the students. 

What do you enjoy most about working with the EE program?
I enjoy getting kids to think about their environment and our human impacts on it while we are outdoors seeing it in action. I also enjoy having fun with the students, whether it's showing them animals up close, playing games or doing crafts. One of the best things about EE is our team. We are like a family and everyone has been very helpful while I've been learning the ropes.  

If you could live in any ecosystem anywhere on the planet, what would you choose and why?
I'd love to live in the rain forests in Costa Rica again. I really enjoyed how different it was from home, how many new animals and plants there were to discover, and most of all, the nice weather. 

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Todd Jerdon

 
How long have you worked with the EE program?
Since September 2019 
 
What is your favorite grade level to teach?
I like working with a variety of ages, but middle school and high school are my favorites. 
 
What do you enjoy most about working with the EE program?
I really enjoy anything outdoors whether at Lapham Peak, by the stream or trimming out Buckthorn. I am curious about everything and desire to leave wherever I go in a better state for others.
 
If you could live in any ecosystem anywhere on the planet, what would you choose and why?
I love variety, so I cannot choose. I want to experience it all. 

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Fred Jonas

How long have you worked with the EE program?
Since the fall of 2020

What is your favorite grade level to teach?

What do you enjoy most about working with the EE program?
The people in the program are exceptional on so many levels. There is a passion for life and learning that transcends academia and goes into almost a family atmosphere. Needless to say, the core of the program is the great outdoors. What could be better?

If you could live in any ecosystem anywhere on the planet, what would you choose and why?
I love the desert, the ocean, the Superior coast, the north woods, the Kettle Moraine, the Rocky Mountains. How can one ever choose just one?

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Rita Keber


How long have you worked with the EE program?
 
I've worked 6 years with the EE program.
 
What is your favorite grade level to teach?  
I like the lower grades and getting kids excited about nature.
 
What do you enjoy most about working with the EE program? 
I enjoy working with the other EE teachers because everyone has something different to offer and we learn from each other. I also like teaching the various grade levels and being outdoors connecting others with nature.
 
If you could live in any ecosystem on the planet, which would you choose and why? 
I like living in the temperate forest because of the different seasons I can experience. In winter I can search for animal tracks and cross-country ski, springtime is wonderful to see new plant life, summer a different set of plants, and fall hiking through the gorgeous colors.

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Lynn Parkhurst

How long have you worked with the EE program?
Since September 2019

What is your favorite grade level to teach?
I love Kindergarten! The pure excitement of it being the first classroom field trip to EB Shurts is so fun to be a part of! The Live Animal room is always my favorite to teach because all the animals enjoy such an enthusiastic audience!

What do you enjoy most about working with the EE program?
Constantly learning from my co-workers! We each bring such a diverse background to the program, whether it be a teaching career, the life-long love of nature, creative hobbies, interesting passions and tid-bits of life knowledge! Every one of my teammates encourages me to keep curious, which brings out the best in our teaching! 

If you could live in any ecosystem anywhere on the planet, what would you choose and why?
I love Wisconsin's four seasons and  appreciate all the nature, beauty and recreation that comes with each change.... but I love flowers, gardening and butterflies so it would be incredible to live somewhere Tropical for a while!

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Jake Rademacher


How long have you worked with the EE program?
 
Since October 2021
 
What is your favorite grade level to teach? 
Our 4th and 5th graders bring so much curiosity and an openness to learning during their programs. I love the conversations I get to have with them throughout the day as we spend some valuable time in nature. 

What do you enjoy most about working with the EE program? 
All of the variety and the excitement we see from our students. No two days are ever the same even if we are teaching the same curriculum. I feel so fortunate to play a role in fostering our student’s love for the outdoors.
 
If you could live in any ecosystem on the planet, which would you choose and why? 
I spent 5 years living in San Diego and enjoyed all of the different ecosystems within a three hour drive. I could be up over 10,000 ft in the mountains, at sea level on the beach or even below sea level in the Mojave desert. One ecosystem I missed was our dense forests, teeming with wildlife. If I had to choose, likely a mountain valley in a bit more of a northern latitude in my attempt to get the best of all of the seasons.

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Laureanna Raymond-Duvernell


How long have you worked with the EE program?
 
Just since September 2017!
 
What is your favorite grade level to teach? 
This is a hard question...  I like the variety of grade levels and experiences so I can't pick a favorite.  Highlights from this fall that I love telling others: teaching at Lapham Peak, handling the live animals, getting to pull out my Spanish from college, getting in the river with the kids, and learning new skills from my coworkers!
 
What do you enjoy most about working with the EE program? 
I love being able to combine teaching kids and focused environmental ed.  I never felt like I could do this in the regular classroom.
 
If you could live in any ecosystem on the planet, which would you choose and why? 
Coral reef, for sure!  So much biodiversity, surprises around every turn, and no mosquitoes!

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John Tompsett

How long have you worked with the EE program? 
Since September 2017

What is your favorite grade level to teach? 
7th grade, they have so much fun, and they love the activities

What do you enjoy most about working with the EE program? 
Working with great people, teaching a variety of grade levels, being outside, helping the kids to learn about and enjoy the outdoors.

If you could live in any ecosystem on the planet, which would you choose and why? 
It would have to be the northern forest AKA Boreal forest.  The conifers are beautiful in the winter, and the animal population is so diverse. 

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Sally Turner


How long have you worked with the EE program?
 
Since 1975

What is your favorite grade level to teach?  
Each grade level brings its own uniqueness.  I've been privileged to share in students' excitement of walking in the river with boots and net, discoveries they make of what lives in our environment, the awe they experience as they visit the past to see how phenomena of the Ice Age affect the present (Lapham Peak), their acute awareness of our Fox River Watershed and the connection we have with everyone and everything along it, their testing and learning about our community source of drinking water and how it is changing.  The favorite list goes on and on!

What do you enjoy most about working with the EE Program?
Two things, first is the relevance our EE Program has to each and every individual whether a student or adult.  When I started teaching EE the program's relevance was often challenged. Over time this thinking has changed.  I find students are curious and concerned about planet earth's well-being.  We provide experiences rich with discovery and learning.  We try to teach students how to think, not what to think.  They leave us thirsting for more.  Second, we have an incredible staff of individuals who are diverse in their backgrounds and possess great passion for the environment.  Their enthusiasm is contagious!

If you could live in any ecosystem on the planet, which would you choose and why? 
I choose the waters of Clarence Strait along Prince of Wales Island in SE Alaska.  I am awestruck with diverse populations of whales, sea lions, sea urchins, sea stars, jellyfish, sea cucumbers, crab, salmon, halibut, birds, etc.  Such wonder and color!
 

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Katie Wilkie


How long have you worked with the EE program?
 
I've been with the program since 2001
 
What is your favorite grade level to teach?
My favorite grade level is early childhood and my favorite grade to teach is third. I love working in the river with both parent volunteers and the students. They get such a thrill examining the aquatic life that comes out of our Fox River! But it's hard to pick a favorite grade to teach.
 
What do you enjoy most about working with the EE program? 
What I love about being an Environmental Ed teacher is the variety. One day I'm in the river and the next I might be at Lapham Peak or at Camp Whitcomb. Helping students understand that we all have a role in protecting our environment is what it's all about.
 
If you could live in any ecosystem on the planet, which would you choose and why? 
My favorite ecosystem would have to be freshwater or marine. I love being around water. I have a cabin in northern Wisconsin on a lake called North Twin Placid and I spend most of my summer up there. My favorite thing is paddle boarding early in the morning. We are also in the middle of a forest ecosystem up there , surrounded by pine forests and birch trees and in the winter it's a frozen tundra! So I have a little bit if everything there except rain forest! I spend time in Florida every winter so that's where I get my marine and tropical ecosystems! I grew up in Wisconsin and went to Whittier, Horning, Central Campus ( now Les Paul) and South and finally UW-Madison. 've lived in Washington DC and the US Virgin Islands. But eventually, because I love the four seasons, I moved back to Wisconsin, the place I've always called home.