Promoting Professional Development and Best Practice in EE
Walter E. Jeske Award
Brenda Metcalf is the Executive Director for the Environmental Education Council of Ohio (EECO). She became actively involved in environmental education as a practitioner and a leader upon graduating from college in 1991. Brenda has served as the Executive Director of EECO since 2003. It was soon after coming on board with EECO that Brenda became involved with NAAEE.
What is perhaps most impressive is that Brenda provided leadership for NAAEE at a time when leadership was needed and many challenges lay ahead. Yet she took on this leadership with her usual good humor, optimism, and tenacity. Brenda worked side-by-side with board members and NAAEE’s Executive Director, the amazing Judy Braus, to strengthen and grow NAAEE to the organization it is today. Brenda continues to serve today on NAAEE’s Advisory Council. She also provides guidance and input on several national and international programmatic areas, including the NAAEE conference, our EE 30 Under 30 program, civic engagement, the Natural Start Alliance, and the Affiliate’s Network Steering Committee. And, Brenda has chaired the awards committee since 2007. No one is sure how she does it all!
As stated in her nomination, “Brenda looks for ways to strengthen our collective work and is one of those quiet people who works tirelessly in the background. But, her work makes us all and NAAEE much better.” This year’s Jeske winner is also noted to be a long-standing advocate for equity and inclusion, continuously working on making the field more just and inclusive for all. And perhaps most importantly, if you need a piece of chocolate, a candy or some more healthy snack, if Brenda is around, she will be sure to hook you up!