Meet the GEOEC Executive Team
The Global, Environmental & Outdoor Education Council - Executive Directors
The Provincial Board of Directors is made up of elected members from the Global, Environmental & Outdoor Education Council (GEOEC). These individuals are elected during the Annual General Meeting. The Board meets regularly in person, and via conference calls, to help direct the path of GEOEC, supporting members province wide.
President - Court Rustemeyer
Court has been a full time Outdoor Education teacher at Vincent Massey Junior High School in Calgary, Alberta for the past 13 years. He is also on the Board of Directors for the Outdoor Council of Canada (OCC) were he serves as the Director of the Prairies. Court is also a Field Leader Instructor for the OCC. Court’s passion in student-led and experiential learning allows him to be out in the environment with his students in an outdoor classroom almost daily. Those hands-on experiences and inquiry-based learning allows Court to instill a greater understanding of indigenous and land based knowledge into his students and others. When not teaching, you will find Court out in the mountains participating in any number of activities, unplugging and recharging in nature.
Secretary - Don McLaughlin
Don is currently a Grade 5 Teacher in Calgary and the Secretary on GEOEC Executive. Don is extremely passionate about not only taking students outdoors but helping guide young teachers on adventures too. Don has been an executive with GEOEC for over 10 years and has many different roles over that time. Don is also. current Past-President for GEOEC.
When Don is not busy on other Provincial or National Council, he can be found exploring mountain views on lesser traveled trails throughout central and southern Alberta.
Treasurer - Beth Townsend
Originally from Ontario, Beth have been teaching around Central Alberta for 7 years now. She has had an arrangement of assignments. She says something she is always been happy and willing to do is add some form of Environmental or Outdoor Education spin to lessons. Since moving here, Beth has enjoyed exploring the mountains through hiking and camping. She also enjoys fishing, snowshoeing. You'll find her playing slow-pitch and basketball.
Public Relations Director - Samantha Ur
Samantha is passionate about the outdoors and taking kids outside in all weather! She teaches Grade 5 full time as well as Outdoor Education and leads the Green Club at her school.
Some of her favorite past times are camping, backpacking with friends in the Rockies, taking advantage of the River Valley trails in Edmonton and running outside with her dog Kira. She is the “tree hugger” in her family, and proud of it!
CASL Liaison & Social Media - Tyler Dixon
Tyler is originally from Saskatchewan, but has been teaching with the Calgary Board of Education since 2006. He has been fortunate to teach in a variety of unique schools and programs. When not at work, Tyler enjoys outdoor activities, such as hiking, camping, biking, SUPing, and snowboarding, team sports, travelling, photography, spending time with good friends, and being at home with his wife, our boys, and their German Shepherd, Rome.
Professional Development Director - Carissa Esau
Originally from Calgary, Carissa is in her first year of teaching with the Calgary Board of Education. Carissa is fortunate to teach in multiple subject areas including science and art and is passionate about including environmental and outdoor education concepts in her lessons. Aside from teaching in the classroom, she also teaches youth and adult aquatics courses around Alberta. When not at work, Carissa enjoys rock climbing, hiking, backpacking, and canoeing in central and southern Alberta.
Publications & Connections Journal Editor - Alison Katzko
Alison has a diverse background in teaching. She has taught in a two-room school in Northern British Columbia with a large Cree student population, to working in an elementary school with over 3,000 students in Georgia, USA. She has also taught in Bhutan and Thailand. Getting students outside and connected to nature on a daily bases is a passion wherever she teaches.
Currently, Alison is teaching Grade 5 in Calgary. She is a National Geographic Certified Educator and loves the arts, exploring, and traveling. Her students have presented their work at the Calgary's ARC GIS Conference, won top standing in the Calgary Science Fair, and connected with explorers and scientists around the world. She has worked with her community on a Publics Arts Project to collect stories of how people are connected to the land, that was created into a community mural.
Publications & Connections Journal Editor - Abi Henneberry
Education is Abi's vibrant second career, her first having been professional dance. That's what prepared Abi to gracefully roll out of a kayak, lightly trip over roots on hiking trails, choreograph the fall off a mountain bike, and stretch in contorted shapes while skiing! Abi currently teaches Full Day Kindergarten at Lois E. Hole Elementary School in St. Albert, where she gets outside with the littles for at least a kilometre hike every morning before they start their indoor day! She loves having the opportunity to work with young children and inspire awareness of the values that GEOEC represents. Her main outdoor pursuit involves horses. Abi takes dressage lessons regulalry, loves spending hours trail riding, and also spends time volunteering with Little Bits Therapeutic Riding Association in Edmonton. Abi hopes one day to combine her education background, equine interests and love of the outdoors in the "next career"!
Outdoor Education Liaison - Jeff Siddle
Jeff was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, before heading south to be closer to the Rockies. Working in special settings with youth at risk, addictions and corrections for over 10 years, Jeff is a teaching with the Calgary Board of Education, specializing in Wilderness Therapy. Jeff spent a majority of his teaching career at BASE Camp in the Ghost Valley with Enviros. Currently Jeff is working in Calgary, teaching Grades 5 & 6 at a local Elementary School.
When Jeff is not helping youth in the wilderness he loves to spend is free time mountain biking, skiing, surfing, paddle boarding and especially hiking! Jeff is a certified commercial guide and has been leading canoe and kayaking trips for over 15 years, including expeditions to the Arctic.
Environmental Education Liaison - Paula Huddy
Educator, avid traveller, and lover of nature, Paula Huddy has spent the last 15 years travelling this amazing planet both as an adventurer and a teacher who visits the world with her class using technology. She has brought her passion for exploring the earth and connecting with nature to her students, motivating them to be environmental stewards and global citizens who create action plans to make the earth a better and sustainable place to live. As a National Geographic Grosvenor Fellow & Canadian Geographic Alberta Rep, Paula has taken advantage of social media to help promote her message and reach out to a world of experts and environmental enthusiasts with her students. Living near the Rocky Mountains in Calgary, she is passionate about connecting with nature and getting regular doses of Vitamin N (Nature). She can be found regularly exploring local trails and participating in outdoor activities with her husband and three young children.
Global Education Liaison - Preston Huppie
Oki, tanisi, hello and good day, my name is Preston Huppie. I first want to acknowledge the Treaty 7 territory, the land I now live on. It is important to honour the first people of these lands as this is a way to create lasting relationships of respect and dignity. I am from Treaty 6 and a Cree/Métis educator who began teaching in Kehewin Cree Nation for 11 years and going on 5 years with Calgary Board of Education. My Metis ancestry is from the Red River of Manitoba and also am of Cree lineage. I am active with Rupertsland Institute Board of Governors and Alberta Metis Education Council which works closely with Alberta Education. I love teaching from an Indigenous perspective which comes from this land. I also love to camp, fish, hike, and gardening. The land provides for all including stories, medicines, food, education, and knowledge and it is important to provide these teachings for our families, youth, and teachers today.
Global Education Advisor - Em Parkin
ATA Staff Advisor - Tim Jeffares
Tim has had experience teaching and leading in various settings from K-12 in Alberta and in China. After a short stint with Alberta Education as the Director of Investigations and Governance Tim joined the Alberta Teachers’ Association. He enjoys fishing, hunting, running, mountain biking, commuting to work year round on his bike(s), snowboarding, skateboarding, hockey and, more recently, disc golf. Tim's excited to support this council and its important work.
PEC Liaison - Darren Moroz
Born and raised on 8000 acres in NE Saskatchewan, Darren has grown up on the land and come to love all outdoor events. Currently teaching K-5 PE and incorporating Outdoor Education into his classes. He says " I am invigorated by the inclusion in the incredible committee of GEOEC! Let's get outdoors!!"
Global Environmental and Outdoor Education Council
Executive Duties and Responsibilities
Duties and Responsibilities of Table Officers. All positions except Past President and President are open for election annually.
Act as advisor to the president and the Executive Board in general.
Ensure that the Executive operate in accordance with the constitution.
Act as keeper of the historical records as the council historian.
Solicit nominations from membership for each of the Table Officer positions.
Coordinate the GEOEC’s recognition of individuals and organizations, and solicit recommendations and nominations for awards at least two months prior to AGM.
Report annually and maintain a registry of awards presented by the GEOEC.
Maintain liaison with ATA personnel, PEC representative and staff officer assigned to the GEOEC.
Call, set agenda for and chair all meetings of the Table Officers and Executive Board.
Arrange for the old and new Executive Board to meet near the end of term of office to pass on information and receive files.
Submit an annual written report about GEOEC activities to the ATA
Attend annual Seminar for Presidents of Specialist Councils.
Submit written reports at Executive meetings as required.
Keep Executive informed of developments.
Assist the president as required, and act in the absence of the president.
Maintain liaison with committee chairs and report to Table Officers.
Take minutes of all Table Officer and Executive Board meetings.
Send minutes, and action plans to Executive, ATA Staff Advisor, PEC representative and GEOEC Community Liaisons.
Have copies of previous year’s AGM minutes available at the current AGM.
Handle correspondence and communication, in conjunction with President.
Take charge of all money received and/or collected by the Council, and disburse funds as authorized by the Table Officers.
Keep accurate record of the financial affairs of the Council for both the account held at Barnett House and the current account.
Provide a statement of account to each meeting of the Table Officers.
Have books ready for audit by Barnett House at the end of each fiscal year (June 30)
Attend annual Seminar for Treasurers of Specialist Councils.
Present audited financial statement to the AGM
Provide consultative services to the Conference Director.
Assess needs, make recommendations and provide in-service opportunities to GEOEC Members in addition to annual conference.
Establish, maintain and recommend a list of resource people.
Submit a report of PD activities to the AGM.
PUBLIC RELATIONS / MEMBERSHIP
Deal with issues relating to the image of the GEOEC and environmental education focusing
Specifically on outside groups.
Actively promote membership among interested members of the public.
Work with the conference committee to ensure that they have an up-to-date membership list, and that the conference is promoted to non-members.
Coordinate the development, interpretation and implementation of public relations policies.
Submit a report on PR/ Membership activities to the AGM.
Coordinate and act as editor for any publications that pertain to the goals and objectives of the GEOEC.
Attend the annual Seminar for Specialist Council Editors.
Submit a report of Publications activities to the AGM.
CONFERENCE DIRECTORS (2018)
In consultation with the Table Officers, plan and carry out an annual conference program which is to be outlined in the fall and published at least two months prior to the conference.
Keep a conference file. Pass this file on to the Conference Director-Elect.
Attend annual Seminar for Conference Directors of Specialist Councils.
Submit an audited financial statement to the Table Officers within two months following the conference.
Present this statement to the Executive Board at the first fall meeting.
Submit all financial records to Barnett House on or before June 30 for auditing.
CONFERENCE DIRECTOR-ELECT (2019)
Serve as a member of the conference steering committee in preparation for the following year. Assist the Conference Director as required.
NOTE: (It is not essential that this person attend Executive meetings).
COMMUNITY LIAISONS (Two Positions)
This is a non-voting appointed position, created to facilitate sharing of experience and knowledge between community (non-formal) and school-based (formal) educators. It acknowledges the significant contribution of non-formal educators to global, environmental and outdoor education.
Photography by Tyler Dixon