K.C. Steussy-Williams: I have been attending the Summits since I was very young. I’ve gone to 19 so far and I am looking forward to many more! I grew up in a small town in Indiana. I went to school at Appalachian State University and graduated in May 2013 with a B.S. in International Business with a focus on Arabic. I am currently pursuing an Actuarial Science advanced degree at Purdue. Traveling has been a passion of mine that began with my parents bringing me to a new state each year to attend the Summit. I have grown up with my fellow Summiteers and appreciate the dedication and hard work that keeps the Summits going each year.
Riley Morrison, a Phoenix, Arizona native, has been to 10 Summits and looks forward to many more. As a kid, he loved being a Junior Naturalist and Teen Explorer, and hugely appreciates the hard work of the leaders who made every summit a stunning experience. When not playing ukulele or bass guitar, he attends the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. An avid adventure seeker, Riley loves to hike, climb and snowboard. However, his real passion requires two wheels, shock supports and a steep trail. Riley raced mountain bikes competitively during high school and has ridden all over Arizona. Every Summit he looks forward to learning outdoor skills and hiking techniques as he invariably gets flats.
Mary Burnette has attended 16 Summits along with her two sons. Her youngest son Brett still attends as a member of the Young Adult group. Mary’s passion for the outdoors began as a child growing up in California where her family backpacked in Yosemite’s high country for three weeks every summer. Mary worked for the National Wildlife Federation for 15 years working on conservation issues from saving endangered species to protecting the planet from global warming. Working for NWF gave Mary a number of exceptional wildlife adventures including turtle monitoring and whale watching in Mexico and exploring the amazing wildlife in the Galapagos Islands. Mary retired from NWF in 2013 and now works part-time as a teacher naturalist for the Reston Nature Center near her home in Great Falls,Virginia. At the nature center Mary works with school groups teaching them about the wonders of nature and the importance of protecting natural habitats.
Aaron Sabo Aaron works in aircraft maintenance in Columbus, Ohio. He and his wife Pamela homeschooled their two boys for seven years. He frequently volunteers at the STEM school they attend. Some of his hobbies include home remodeling and building projects with the kids. He also enjoys hiking and riding dirt bikes on their 50 acre tree farm. This will be his fifth Summit and third year as part of the Transportation team.
Betty Trummel has just retired from a 35-year career in elementary teaching, and 10 years as an adjunct professor at the university level. She’s taught at over 40 Summits since 1983 and loves to reach out to learners of all ages to teach about the natural world. Three expeditions to Antarctica have focused on education outreach, working alongside scientists at the U.S. McMurdo Station. Betty is headed back to Antarctica in December, 2016, as part of the all-women’s expedition Homeward Bound. She has been chosen as one of 78 women in science from around the world who are part of Homeward Bound, a global collaboration and an inspiring leadership and strategic initiative teamed with a science education program on climate, biological and earth system research, set against the back drop of Antarctica.
For the past 12 years Betty has co-led a teacher exchange program with educators from the U.S. and northern Sweden, based on environmental education and sustainable development. She’s also on the Executive Committee for Polar Educators International (PEI) and on the Board of A to Z Literacy Movement, a non-profit dedicated to putting books in the hands of children and sharing literacy teaching skills/strategies with teachers in Zambia.
Betty’s off to Svalbard Island in the Arctic later in July, to work with her Italian colleague, Matteo, and help teach on a high school student expedition called “Research and Education Svalbard Experience” (RESEt). Teaching is her passion, rambles/hikes are her joy. Betty is a avid reader, hiker/backpacker, gardener, photographer; she loves to kayak, snowshoe, ski, go orienteering, and spend time in the mountains and at the beach. Her newest adventure: The Science Roadshow….a business she started to continue to promote lifelong learning in science and technology. Dedicated to doing science presentations/programs to learners around the world, this is a way that Betty can share her passion for education for years to come.
Amanda Stroupe: Last year I loved sharing the North Carolina mountains with our young folk, and this year I look forward to experiencing New Mexico with our little (and coolest) guys. As a mother of four, I have found that children are at their best in the great outdoors. It is my pleasure to explore, learn about, and marvel over the wonders of Mother Nature with those who see it best. From August to June I teach 2nd grade in small town Granite Falls, North Carolina. In the classroom I love to take children out of the classroom! We often take walks, have poetry class and nature journaling outdoors, and study birds at our birdfeeder. On the weekends my family likes to take day trips to the mountains for creek play, hiking, salamander spying, picnics, and time to relax. I can’t wait to do similar, and different, things with our Family Summit children!
Leslie Sherrard is an educator with 33 years of teaching experience in elementary, middle, and high schools. She currently teaches high school math in Savannah, Georgia. She has worked at Glacier National Park in Montana, and has served as a Director of Camp Invention (a national science camp for elementary students). She is an assistant PADI scuba diving instructor and a full time outdoor enthusiast. Leslie admits: “I hike and camp whenever I can!” She has two adult sons – the older one graduated from Clemson and her younger son graduated from Appalachian State. This is Leslie’s eighth Summit.
James Sherrard lives near Burlington, Vermont and has been part of the Summits since his first at Mt. Washington Hotel in New Hampshire. In past Summits James served on the board of directors for the newly created Family Nature Summits for two years as the Young Adult member, hiked with the Junior Naturalists, assisted Peggy with the Young Adults, co-led rock climbing and is now a teen Leader with Joel and Leigh Ann. When James is not at the Summits he is working in the field of stormwater management and exploring the New England forests.
Dawn Schroeder has been attending and enjoying Summits for the past 20 years. Each year she looks forward to learning about unique ecosystems and exploring new places. The Summit influenced her decision to study and pursue a career in environmental science and biology. She’s excited to be back working with Peggy and the best group, the Young Adults!
Teri Schroeder has worked in the past as director of the child care program. Teri and her family began attending NWF Family Conservation Summits in 1985. Since that first summit, Teri has worked as a volunteer, as childcare staff and director and as a Junior Naturalist leader at many summits.