Meet Our EE Teachers

 Debbie Kabitzke

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Debbie Kabitzke

How long have you worked with the EE program?
I have worked for the program a total of almost 15 years. I worked for EE in the early 90s when I was easing back into teaching after being home with my kids for 12 years. I retired from the classroom in 2009 and returned to be part of the EE Staff that fall.

What is your favorite grade level to teach?
I spent most of my career in kindergarten and have a soft spot in my heart for those little people but love the diversity of reaching all ages of children.

What do you enjoy most about working with the EE program?
It combines my love of the out-of-doors and the opportunity to continue to teach kids. I’ve been blessed to work with wonderful co-workers over the years that make coming to work a real joy.

If you could live in any ecosystem anywhere on the planet, what would you choose and why?
I love our Wisconsin temperate forest ecosystem. I enjoy the change of seasons and yes, even the        temperature. I’ve learned to enjoy the beauty of the desert but always look forward to returning home.

 Rita Keber

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Rita Keber


How long have you worked with the EE program?
 
I've worked 2.5 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.
 Emma Koeppel

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Emma Koeppel


How long have you worked with the EE program?
 
Since August of 2016
 
What is your favorite grade level to teach?
Since I spend most of my time working in the office creating schedules, repairing and maintaining equipment, or caring for the E.B. Shurts critters, 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 outdoor education 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 enjoy seeing the students' innate curiosity about nature while they are exploring outside and their excitement for getting to spend a day learning outside of the classroom.
 
If you could live in any ecosystem on the planet, which would you choose and why? 
I would choose an alpine valley ecosystem because of the beautiful scenary and exciting seasonal changes.
 Laurie Longtine

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Laurie Longtine

 Heather Malmborg

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Heather Malmborg

 
 Welcome to the EE Program Heather! More info coming soon...
 Michelle Hughes

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Michelle Hughes

Welcome to the EE program Michelle! More info coming soon...
 
 Erica Mueller

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Erica Mueller

How long have you worked with the EE program?
I have been part of the Waukesha Schools for 4 years as the district Science Coordinator and have added Environmental Education Coordinator to my role for the last two years. 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 ;) 

 Sandi Nitka

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Sandi Nitka

 
How long have you worked with the EE program?
I have worked with Environmental Education since September of 2000.
 
What is your favorite grade level to teach?
My favorite grade level to teach is 3rd grade. The students are so excited to be outside, trying and learning new things and finding out what is living in the Fox River.
 
What do you enjoy most about working with the EE program?
The amazing people I work with, who all bring something different to the program to enhance it. Also, the friendships through the years and feeling like a family. Plus you get to work outdoors and help teach our younger generations about the environment around them.
 
If you could live in any ecosystem on the planet, which would you choose and why? 
I would probably choose some kind of forest because of the immense diversity of plants, animals, insects and all things living there.
 Laureanna Raymond-Duvernell

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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!
 John Tompsett

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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. 

 Sally Turner

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Sally Turner


How long have you worked with the EE program?
 
I have worked with the EE program for about 40 years.

What is your favorite grade level to teach?  
Each grade level brings its own uniqueness.  It has been a privilege for me to share in students' excitement of a walk in the water with boots and net, their discovery of what lives in our environment, their wonder as they visit the past and 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 level list goes on and on!

What do you enjoy most about working with the EE Program?
I have two favorite things; first is the relevance our EE program has to each and every one of us students and staff alike.  When I first started teaching EE in the 1970s the program's relevance was often challenged.  Over time this thinking has changed.   I find that students are curious and concerned about planet earth's well-being.  We provide them with scenarios where they discover and learn, we try to teach them 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 a passion for our environment.  Their enthusiasm is contagious!

If you could live in any ecosystem on the planet, which would you choose and why? 
Definitely I choose the waters of Clarence Strait along Prince of Wales Island in SE Alaska.  During visits for workshops there I have been awestruck with the diverse populations of whales, sea lions, sea urchins, sea stars, jellyfish, sea  cucumbers, crab, torritos, salmon, halibut, etc. etc.  Such wonder and color!
 
 Katie Wilkie

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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.