Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Educator Spotlight: Maggie Miller

Maggie Miller, the lead interpretation and education ranger at Pilot Mountain State Park recently completed her NC Environmental Education Certification. Maggie has been working for NC State Parks for five years and in her role, she works with local students from public and private schools and with homeschool students. She also leads programs for Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and other organizations. 

Maggie says her favorite part of earning her certification was attending workshops, learning different teaching methods and her community partnership project. “I engaged with so many wonderful educators and learned new ways of teaching through those classes.”

For her community partnership project, Maggie worked with Charles H. Memorial Library in Pinnacle, NC. With the help of local high school students, she created a native pollinator garden in several of the library's open beds, provided 60 free native wildflower seed packets that included native plants such as common milkweed, purple coneflower, and black-eyed Susan and offered pollinator programs at the library. 

Maggie says participating in the program changed her approach to teaching. “When I started my NC EE Certification, I was new to North Carolina and new to being a NC State Park Ranger. I was a beginner with some experience from working at a state park in Florida. The program really showed me the basics through professional educators. Learning how to provide programs that engage the visitor through observation and place-based education.”

Maggie says the program also changed the way she views environmental issues. “By attending so many wonderful classes through this certification process, I was exposed to issues or topics I didn't know existed. I was already very environmentally aware, but this opened my eyes up to even more and provided me with tools to teach without overwhelming students.”

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