Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Educator Spotlight: Holly Theobald

Holly Theobald, a nonformal educator from Harnett County recently completed her NC Environmental Education Certification. Holly enjoys teaching people of all ages and backgrounds through interactive, place-based instruction. In her personal time, she enjoys gardening, making tea blends and exploring nature. 

Holly’s favorite part of the certification program was meeting and connecting with other educators across the state. “It was a joy to learn from them and to share with each other our love of the natural world.”

For her community partnership project, Holly planned for the installation of a future garden at Highlands School in partnership with the Highlands Biological Foundation and Old Edwards Hospitality Group. “Once installed, this garden will serve the students at Highlands School by providing them with an educational garden for inquiry-based learning where they can learn how to grow organic produce.”

Holly says participating in the certification program changed her approach to teaching. “I have a much stronger skill set when it comes to developing and facilitating educational activities because of the certification program. I have learned so much – from new curricula to different interpretive techniques. I have more confidence in myself as an educator, which in turn, impacts how effective I am when I deliver programs.”

When asked if the program changed the way she thinks about environmental issues, Holly said it was helpful to connect with other educators. “It is through effective education that we can help others understand how the natural world works, and how we may make positive changes that will improve the planet." I do not feel as daunted by these issues knowing that there are numerous people who also want to help the planet through education that will impact the next generation. Participating in the certification program has given me the opportunity to connect and learn from educators and environmental leaders across the state which enables me to facilitate such education.”

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