Katie Larson first joined the Alliance as an Education Intern in June 2009 as part of her master’s degree studies in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Outdoor and Environmental Education. Now, as Education Manager, Katie oversees the Alliance’s Stewardship and Education Team, education and curriculum work, and runs professional development programming for school districts around the Great Lakes region, including Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and Racine. In 2012, Katie developed the Great Lakes in My World 9-12 curriculum, building on the Alliance’s Great Lakes in My World K-8 curriculum. Additionally, Katie provides outreach to schools and non-formal education centers and coordinates the Great Lakes Education Collaborative, which brings together 160 educators around the region to promote place-based education.
Prior to her job at the Alliance, Katie worked for six years as a special education teacher at the middle and high school levels and as an environmental educator at The Morton Arboretum. Katie was also an Adjunct Instructor at Ashland University for the Wisconsin Great Lakes Education Advanced Certificate program. Katie received her B.S.Ed in special education from Illinois State University and her M.S.Ed from Northern Illinois University. As a former teacher, her favorite days were those spent out in the field or school yard with my students. As a youth, her most memorable days were those on field trips and where she was able to make choices regarding her own learning. These experiences and expertise have informed Katie’s commitment to providing students with the opportunity to experience their neighborhoods in new ways and give them a voice in taking action to protect and improve the resources in their communities.