Faculty & StaffJuly 10 - 14 | Vernon, NJ
Camp Snowball is planned and led by a talented team of educators who are meeting now to create an outstanding program for Vernon, NJ event. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn with and from some of the most experienced practitioners in this field.
As a leader, author and innovator in the fields of systems thinking and organizational learning, Tracy Benson, Ed.D., brings extensive practitioner experience to education, government and corporate work in her role as president of the Waters Foundation. Dr. Benson earned an Ed.D. in educational leadership from the University of Arizona, an M.A. from Northern Arizona University and a B.S. in multi-field studies: education, psychology and statistics from St. Lawrence University. She has contributed to numerous publications that have highlighted her extensive work in education. She co-authored Structuring Schools for Success, A Practitioner’s View and most recently, The Habit-forming Guide to Becoming a Systems Thinker.
As a learner and educator, she taught at the elementary, secondary and university levels and served as a school principal and district level professional developer and evaluator. In addition to her K-12 experience.
Tracy currently leads a national team of exceptional, progressive innovators who skillfully make systems thinking concepts and tools accessible through real- world, practical applications. From the classroom to the boardroom, Tracy Benson designs and leads sessions that engage, motivate and inspire individuals and groups devoted to making positive differences in their schools, organizations and communities.
Desiree Chrun is a freshman at the University of Missouri. She is currently studying International Studies and Spanish. Desiree has spent the past two summers Interning at Washington University’s Social System Design Lab. As well as acting as an Ambassador for Gateway2Change, a program developed to teach youth how to talk about race. Her passions include reading, racial and gender issues, and education.
Beth Fetterley Heller, Senior Director of Education and Strategic Planning at the Urban Ecology Center has dedicated the past 15 of her 20 years in education to the growth of urban environmental and sustainable education opportunities for youth and adults in Milwaukee, WI.
Starting with a single classroom in a double-wide trailer, hosting 6000 students for nature-based field trips annually, her programs now run out of 3 branches, 2 state-of-the-art green buildings that provide learning opportunities for 150,000 people of all ages each year. While at the Urban Ecology Center, Beth received her MBA from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, was awarded the 2009 Business Journal “40 under 40 Award” for community leadership in Milwaukee, 2008 Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History, Blanch Hornbeck Award for Nature Education and the 2004 Educator of the Year from Wisconsin’s Conservation Congress. Previous experience includes running Elderhostel programs, teaching high school biology and rehabilitating wildlife. Beth is an active volunteer, musician, sailor, bicycler, hiker, skier and life-long learner.
Trevor Hicks is a student at Harris-Stowe State University and a program assistant at the Social Systems Design Lab at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. Trevor is studying Secondary Education with a focus on Social Science. He plans to become an amazing teacher and then eventually transition into an administrative position. At Washington University, Trevor works with a team to develop skills in System Dynamics/Systems Thinking, inform the community on pressing issues, and coordinate this year’s youth summit on Youth Homelessness. In his free time, Trevor enjoys nature, reading, traveling, and spending time with friends.
Dianne Lam is a program assistant at the Social Systems Design Lab at the Brown School at Washington University in Saint Louis, where she works with a team to learn about and master systems thinking/system dynamics activities, develop/maintain relationships, and plan/coordinate for this year’s Summit on Youth Homeless. Dianne graduated from Ritenour High School, class of 2016, and is currently at Harris-Stowe State University where she is majoring in Secondary Education with an emphasis on Math. Dianne is very passionate about social justice issues and finding solutions to produce positive social and educational transformation. Dianne enjoys traveling, interior designing, working with children, and spending time with her amazing family and friends.
Ken Leinbach is a nationally recognized educator and leader in community-based environmental education. Starting from a single trailer in a high-crime city park,Ken has had fun leading the grass-roots effort to create and grow the dynamic Urban Ecology Center.
Known for its environment, education and social innovation the Center provides consistent contact to nature for tens of thousands of central city students and residents across Milwaukee each year. In this formula environmental education becomes a tool for inspiring urban revitalization. It works — and is capturing the attention of urban planners and educators across the globe. With his contagious energy, Ken speaks on a number of topics including: urban education, community organizing, environmental issues, finding abundance, the power of story, sustainable design, the need for “near-by” nature, leadership, fundraising, and green living.
Maria Simpson has worked with elementary students in North Carolina for more than twelve years as a classroom teacher. She currently serves at the science specialist at a Title I elementary school in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools district, teaching science to students from kindergarten to fifth grade. Since her introduction to systems thinking in 2011, Maria has put the tools and habits into practice in her classroom and has seen an increase in her students’ critical thinking, engagement, and excitement for learning. She believes systems thinking provides valuable and fun tools that can be used across the curriculum for increasing critical thinking skills, making connections, and problem solving. Maria had the pleasure of facilitating Camp Sunshine for two summers and is excited to be joining Camp Snowball again.
Kristi Ponder has been a Camp Snowball participant for five years, and a module facilitator for three. She is also an Art Teacher at Ritenour High School and a Facilitator at EdPlus in Saint Louis, MO. She works with teachers of all experience levels in order to create collaborative groups in which teachers share ideas and reflect on how they can increase student achievement and make learning meaningful for all students. Camp Snowball always rejuvenates her and challenges her to continuously improve herself and her thinking!
Daniel Foster is a rising senior at Hewlett High School on Long Island, New York. Working through Youth Leadership Forum (YLF), a student government group with a focus on systems thinking and sustainability, Daniel and fellow YLF officers created a theme of Equity and Overcoming Barriers based on what they learned in their core module at Camp Snowball the previous Summer. Rooted in the year’s theme, Daniel and a fellow student hosted a World Café in their community in order to initiate a community dialogue on food equity, LGBTQ equity, and race equity. The event brought the knowledge of authorities on each topic to community members interested in learning more about equity and the effects of privilege and marginalization. This will be Daniel’s third year at Snowball and he will be continuing his work with YLF and systems thinking as the co-President of YLF in the upcoming school year.
Shelby Love is a rising senior at George W. Hewlett High School, in Long Island, New York, where she spends much of her time devoted to community building and servant leadership. This is Shelby’s third consecutive year attending Camp Snowball, and her first year as a student co-host. As an active member of her Youth Leadership team, she has helped to organize community programs such as the Arts Below Sunrise music and arts festival, and Field of Honor ceremonies to honor our nation’s veterans. Taking her leanings from last year’s conference in Sacramento and putting them into action, she helped to plan a district-wide World Café to embrace the discussion of equity and overcoming barriers. She has also worked to integrate this focus into her school’s Youth Leadership Forum’s. As an active advocate of sustainability, she often spends her time at her district’s Community Garden Learning Center. On this front, she works with a team to write, manage, and distribute the district-wide community garden newsletter. Her passions include spending time with her incredible friends and family, sustainability, and following her quest for knowledge.