Robin Organ, Executive Director/Founder
As a formally trained educator, Robin believes the key to a sustainable future is to develop the next generation. She is responsible for designing and implementing Project Green Schools’ programs across Massachusetts, New England, the US, and now internationally. Robin has participated in discussions with the former President and Vice President, Dr. John Holdren, US EPA, US Agriculture and others on the topics of; Climate Solutions, Public Health, Environmental Education, and Workforce Development. Robin has participated in several White House Summits and was honored to join President Obama and the former First Lady for the arrival ceremony of Pope Francis, a hero of hers. Recently, Robin was excited to launch the Green Up New England Challenge with the Boston Bruins, the Boston Bruins Foundation and Walmart. Robin works to develop partnerships and opportunities for young people looking to create a healthier future for people and planet.
Hannah Traggis, Director of Student Engagement
Hannah Traggis holds a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology and Master’s of Science in Plant Physiology with a sub-focus on Biological Oceanography from the University of New Hampshire and has spent her life studying both marine and terrestrial plants. While at UNH, Hannah created and taught Inquiry curriculum in Botany, Plants and Civilizations ethnobotany, Ecology and Introductory Biology. An avid and lifelong organic gardener, she enjoys working with local farmers and has also studied plant breeding. She is working on developing open pollinated yellow and red storage onions and cayenne peppers for low input organic agriculture systems in New England. Hannah also mentors the Quabbin Composting and Organic Gardening Program in Barre, MA, where students compost food scraps from the cafeteria and use it to maintain a 60X60′ organic garden. The produce they grow throughout the summer is sold at a local farmer’s market and also donated to their local food pantry to ensure universal accessibility of fresh organic produce for all. Currently, she is the Garden to Table Program Educator and coordinator for the Massachusetts Horticultural Society in Wellesley, MA where food systems and nutrition education for all ages are a primary focus. She is also working to create a series of workshops that will help teachers and schools develop their own school gardens programs across the state.
Tammy Thornton, Content Coordinator
Prior to moving to Connecticut and taking on the Project Green Schools Content Coordinator position in 2012, Tammy held the position of Project Green Schools Board President for two years. She taught seventh grade life science at Dover-Sherborn Middle School in Dover, MA for six years. Tammy earned her Bachelors of Science at the University of New England in Biddeford, ME and her Masters of Environmental Science with a General Science Teaching Degree from Antioch New England in Keene, NH.
Nicole Canty, Outreach Specialist
Greetings! I was born and raised in the most MAGICAL place on Earth. Where else, but Orlando, Florida! Being a Florida native, I grew up roaming and frolicking in many of Florida’s orange groves while my dad took care of them. I guess you could say that’s where my love for our natural world began. During my undergraduate studies at the University of Central Florida, I began working as Safari Driver at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and this, combined with my studies, is what paved the path for a long-term career as a conservation educator in several of Central Florida’s AZA-accredited zoological facilities. My focus in these institutions was developing and facilitating K-5 programs which aligned with Florida’s Sunshine State Science Standards.
Stuck at a crossroad, my life’s direction began its focus on formal school education when I was faced with BOTH a frustration of people “not getting” our conservation messages and the need to make a daily living wage that the world of non-profits just could not offer at the time. Now, I am a certified Biology 6-12 and Middle Grades 5-9 teacher. Although it would seem, from outward appearances, that I have left the informal world of education behind, that is not the case at all. I was, am, and forever shall be a Zoo Teacher. My goal is to bring high-quality zoo education into the formal classroom and make learning science fun, engaging, and dynamic once again. Through this method I further aim to build strong, purposeful relationships with students, students with the community, and the community with each other. I believe that people will not have proper respect for the natural world until they can fully appreciate how the physical world operates and the role of ALL of the organisms that call Earth home, as well as a healthy respect and understanding for each other. Caring for the environment is about caring for each other. It’s about building relationships. And it begins in the schools. I am truly honored to have been selected to serve in this capacity with Project Green Schools!
Angela Kakabeeke, Outreach Specialist
Angela Kakabeeke is an author, speaker, and founder of Earth Detectives; a company that searches for real life solutions that care for air, land and seas. Angela’s company is publishing a series of her co-authored children’s books promoting sustainable practices; Captain Savannah and the Saint Patrick’s Day Mystery and Tybee Craddock and the North Atlantic Right Whale Mystery. The themes are about one’s responsibility to take care of water, land, air, nature, and mankind. She received her Masters of Science in Sustainable Practices from Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN. She is passionate about creating a positive culture change through sustainable education and practices. Angela assists in special projects from Sustainability in Golf Events to creating educational outdoor classrooms with the United States Green Building Council. She is also a mom to two sets of twins that serve as her inspiration to educate future generations to care for the earth.
Eugen Florin Cotei, Student Co-President, National Green Schools Society
“Although at times the temperature soars to 120 degrees, volunteers never shy away from serving their communities in Las Vegas, Nevada. Planting trees, picking up trash, and making our community a true home is how everyone should spend their summer days. By uniting together and creating a team, we have the power to enact a true change in our environment. Getting outside and getting involved is simple: grab a friend and get to work. The perfect time is coming as summer is calming down and fall weather awaits. Don’t get left behind!”
Olivia Gieger – Student Co-President, National Green Schools Society
“I’m so pleased to be coming into the 2016-2017 school year as co-president with a strong, collaborative team. I’ve enjoyed working with the Green Schools team so much this year, and I feel that because we have worked closely this year, we are ready to hit the ground running. I truly love in Green Schools’ mission to unite schools across the country in environmental activism because I truly believe that only together, in a united front, will we be able to address the plaguing issues of climate change that confront our generation.”
Mark Thekkethala – Student Co-President, National Green Schools Society
“My name is Mark Thekkethala and I am a senior at Xaverian Brothers High School. I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to be a leading voice in Green Schools as your co-president for this upcoming year. I hope to inspire a youth movement towards sustainability and climate change awareness throughout the world. Just this April, I was honored to represent Project Green Schools at the White House Event on Climate Change and Public Health, which included prominent leaders in the field such as Dr. John P. Holdren, Administrator Gina McCarthy, US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, and Senator Markey. During this summer, I had an amazing experience visiting Alaska, engaging in dialogue with park rangers, and witnessing first hand the consequences of climate change on the rate of glacial melt and rising sea level. Currently, I am working on an international sustainability project which brings solar power to underprivileged orphanages so that they may reallocate monthly energy spending back towards the needs of the children, all while contributing to a healthy, cleaner, and more sustainable environment. I look forward to interacting with and supporting the great work that our members are already engaged with this year. And, I know that WE can lead the charge towards a Greener planet!”
Steve Brettler, Web Designer
Steve Brettler spent much of his adult life as the owner-manager of the E.P Levine Company. It was there, as a result of his fortuitous purchase of the domain name cameras.com way back in the infancy of the WWW, that he became interested in the potential of the web as a sales tool. Eventually he wore himself out, sold the cameras.com domain, and left his company in the capable hands of an employee and a business partner. Steve started Smallfish-Design in 2006 and develops small business web sites. Brettler studied photography and music at Bennington College, and is currently learning how to play the Uilleann Pipes.