Teacher-Rangers Getting to Know Our National Parks
Contact: Mary Doll, (252) 473-2111 x164
Six Teacher-Rangers who started work with the National Park Service Outer Banks Group last week are already in uniform and learning much about the Group’s parks; Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, and Wright Brothers National Memorial. These Teacher-Rangers are participating in the National Park Service Outer Banks Group’s very first Teacher-Ranger-Teacher developmental program.
The 2009 Teacher-Rangers include: Ken Binkley, a digital media/photography teacher at First Flight High School; Cathy Hammill, a kindergarten teacher at Manteo Elementary School; Marcia Jenkins, a 4th grade teacher at Manteo Elementary School; Bob Kretz, a 4th grade teacher at Nags Head Elementary School; Rolando Nacif, an English Language Learner instructor at Manteo High School; and Lisa Spencer, a teaching assistant at Mattamuskeet High School.
In the Teacher-Ranger-Teacher program, the teachers are detailed through a special agreement between the National Park Service and their school districts to be Teacher-Rangers at one of the Outer Banks Group parks for eight weeks in the summer of 2009. During the detail assignment, they are uniformed as National Park Service rangers and perform various duties in the parks, including developing and presenting education programs for the public, staffing visitor centers and lighthouses, and receiving special training from park staff on interpretive techniques, and the parks’ natural and cultural resources. Using the in-depth training and experiences they are receiving, they will be creating lesson plans to use in their classrooms and share with other teachers.
In April 2010, during National Park Week, the Teacher-Rangers will wear their National Park Service uniform to school and visit classrooms to discuss their summer as a park ranger and engage students and other teachers in activities that relate to America’s national parks.
The Teacher-Ranger-Teacher program has many benefits. Participating Teacher-Rangers obtain a wide range of knowledge and skill by working with park staff. Hyde and Dare County Schools will benefit from the Teacher-Rangers who have learned to apply new techniques for engaging multiple learning styles. Hyde and Dare County students will be better able to connect to our nation’s heritage through the experiences of their Teacher-Ranger.
“The National Park Service could have no better ambassadors in our schools than teachers who have developed a personal connection with our national parks,” stated Outer Banks Group Superintendent Murray. “We very happy to have these Teacher-Rangers from Hyde and Dare County Schools with us this summer.”
Did You Know?
The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest brick structure ever moved. When it was built in 1870, it stood 1,500 feet from the shore. By 1999, the lighthouse was within 100 feet of the ocean. To protect it from the encroaching sea, it was moved inland a total of 2,900 feet over a 23-day period.