Staff changes at PEEC

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Recent visitors to Pajarito Environmental Education Center may have noticed some new faces crafting children’s games, managing the menagerie of live critters and writing pleas and grants for money.  
To meet PEEC’s expanding needs, Katie Watson has accepted a new position as executive director, while Angelique Harshman is education programs director and Beth Cortright is nature center coordinator.
Watson began her career at PEEC as program director in 2010.  She increased the number of public programs and worked to create and offer outdoor education programs for the Los Alamos Public Schools, both at individual schools and at PEEC.  
She obtained grants for PEEC to create the Pajarito Plateau Field Science curriculum, which enables all elementary grade classes to do standards-based science programs in their schoolyards or trails.
Watson will continue to plan public programs for PEEC, but will also focus on management and fundraising for the organization.  She has a degree from St John’s College, where she added search and rescue to the Great Books curriculum.
After obtaining her master’s degree in international relations at George Washington University, she became a Level II certified teacher in New Mexico, with endorsements in library/media, language arts, social studies and science.  
Harshman joined PEEC last spring and is now the Education Programs director, writing curriculum and teaching PEEC programs in the Los Alamos Public Schools.
She has worked in environmental education for more than 15 years. She lived in Los Alamos for five years as a teen, and moved back here in 2011.
Harshman’s degree from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, was in ecology, ethology and evolution.  She started working as an educator with the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago and also worked for two forest preserve districts in Illinois as a naturalist and volunteer coordinator, then was in charge of youth and family programs at the Morton Arboretum.  Besides her passion for teaching people to love the outdoors, she has created a series of nature-based birthday parties for PEEC.  
Cortright is a Public Ally (part of Americorps), working on programs, outreach and volunteer recruitment and training.  
Cortright grew up in Cincinnati. Her undergraduate degree in biology is from the College of Mount St. Joseph, and she has a master’s degree in biological sciences from the University of Cincinnati.  
She moved from Cincinnati to White Rock in April 2012 and almost immediately started volunteering at PEEC.
PEEC also has new Board positions:  Terry Foxx, president; Felicia Orth, vice-president; Sue Watts, secretary; and Nancy Arendt, treasurer.