Elizabeth Schmitz is the Environmental and Sustainability Education Program Manager in Science, Environment, and Sustainability/Learning and Teaching at Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. In this role, she supports administration of Washington’s $10 million climate science professional development Proviso, ClimeTime. She oversees implementation of the Washington Green Ribbon Schools program, the Washington Environmental and Sustainability K-12 Learning Standards, and the Washington Environmental and Sustainability Literacy Plan. Elizabeth is thrilled to offer her support to teachers, schools, and school districts as they implement environmental and sustainability education efforts!
Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Elizabeth graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Science in Geography/Minor Environmental Studies. After two years as an AmeriCorps volunteer in Portland, she taught at Outdoor School programs housed on salmon spawning streams.
After completing a Master of Science degree from the Geoscience program at Western Kentucky University, Elizabeth served state government in multiple roles. At the Kentucky Division for Air Quality, she was an environmental education specialist from 2004-2009. She also worked on climate change issues as an Internal Policy Analyst III (2009-2010). Elizabeth served as the executive director of the Kentucky Environmental Education Council (KEEC), in the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, from 2010-2016. KEEC houses the Commonwealth’s Green and Healthy Schools program, Professional Environmental Educator Certification program, and the Kentucky Environmental Literacy Plan. Elizabeth earned her Professional Environmental Educator Certification (PEEC) from KEEC in 2006, and currently holds the Master level certification from KEEC’s PEEC program, which was accredited by NAAEE while she was the executive director.
In late 2016, Elizabeth and her husband returned to the Pacific Northwest. Elizabeth took the helm at the Sauvie Island Center, an organic agricultural education nonprofit in Oregon. Circumstances dictated a move to Washington state, and in 2018 Elizabeth became a paraeducator at Olympic View Elementary School, “One of my favorite jobs since teaching at outdoor school; it was such fun connecting with kids again. I enjoyed supporting below-grade level readers in the Learning Assistance Program.”