Laura DowneyAt Large Board Member
Laura Downey, Executive Director,Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education--From an early age, being outdoors in every season was an important part of Laura's time growing up. The woods, ponds and sand dunes of Michigan were where she spent time exploring and observing the world around her. As important to her as time spent outdoors was playing "teacher" and that interest carried into her professional life.
Laura holds a B.S. in elementary education, an M.S. in Administration and Supervision and PhD in Curriculum and Instruction (Math, Science and Technology). Laura's career has centered around a deep belief in the power of education to change the world. She began her career teaching in the Chicago Public Schools system and early on recognized the power of working collaboratively to do more better. She is one of the founders of a nonprofit focused on engaging teachers in school reform, has had the privledge of working side by side with social disruptors and become a voice for school change in Chicago. She moved to Kansas and continued to teach at the elementary, middle and preservice level and it was here that she found the field of environmental educaiton and recognized that EE was an ideal match for her passions, interests and values. Laura joined KACEE in 1998 and gravitated toward the affiliate network as an opportunity to amplify the work we are doing. Laura has also been engaged in the leadership for Project Learning Tree's Education Operating Committee and served on the boards of the American Forest Foundation, the Sustainable Forestry Intiative, the Council for Elementary Science International and several local boards. She brings 25 years of experience in affiliate nonprofit management.