Great American Teach In 2007

The Education Department at Big Cat Rescue enjoyed a very busy month in November.  In addition to all the other events, tours and outreaches, we participated in the Great American Teach In.  This is an annual event sponsored by the public school system.  It’s a special opportunity to visit schools and share knowledge with a new generation of youngsters.

With the generous help of our dedicated volunteers the Education Department visited several schools during the 2007 Great AmericanTeach-In.  As a part of this effort several elementary schools and middle schools were introduced to our Big Cat Rescue mission.  Students in addition to adults were taught about our sanctuary, the needs of our cats and the need to conserve their habitats in the wild.

Some students had already taken a tour of Big Cat Rescue.  Hopefully those newly introduced to the sanctuary will ask their parents and teachers to pay us a visit.  The Great American Teach In provided an opportunity to educate others on various ways they can assist Big Cat Rescue and help the cats.

Awards for Educational Excellence

Big Cat Rescue is the proud recipient of the edHelper Honor Roll. For more educational resources, click on the banner.

Big Cat Rescue just keeps winning awards for academic excellence. Hear what Study Web had to say about us “Your website, has been selected as a featured site in Lightspan’s StudyWeb® as one of the best educational resources on the Web by our researchers. StudyWeb® is one of the Internet’s premier sites for educational resources for students and teachers. Since 1996, our expert reviewers have scoured the Internet to select only the finest sites to be included in StudyWeb’s listing of educational links.

We are pleased to announce the end to our quest for Big Cat Rescue’s newest Education Director. It is with great excitement and gratefulness that we bring you this news that we have not just one, but two talented professionals that have risen to the challenge. It’s truly the cat’s meow to have found Beth L. Kamhi, D.C. and Coleen Kremer as two individuals with notable backgrounds that have come together to complement each other in the most refreshing way for us. Their combined talents form a very strong partnership to benefit Big Cat Rescue. Please read on to get the scoop on their backgrounds and why they are the perfect fit. We’d also like to take this time to thank Kathryn Quaas, our former Education Director for several years of her efforts, talents and time. We are very happy with what she has done for and with us and that she will continue to be in our lives as a volunteer.

EducationDirectorsMy husband and I are lifelong animal lovers who have always shared a home with many furry, feathered and finned family members.  While working for the past 23 years as a school psychologist I have helped animals in need in the community through volunteer efforts.  About 5 years ago I was hired at Lowry Park Zoo where I worked as a Zoo Instructor and Keeper in the Outreach Dept.  I learned so much in the 3 1/2 years that I worked at the zoo and discovered my true passion was combining my love for animals and my knowledge of education.  When I was made aware of the position at Big Cat I felt that the values of a sanctuary might be in keeping with my interest in encouraging the preservation of wildlife in it’s natural environment.

With that in mind I began gathering more information and was delighted to find that Big Cat’s mission was exactly the life experience I was searching for.   The next challenge miraculously took care of itself.  I was looking for a part-time position so that I could continue my employment as a psychologist on a part time basis.  But clearly the job description as Director of Education at Big Cat was a full-time job and then some!

Along came my miracle by the name of “Beth”.  She too was looking for a part time position and as good fortune would have it our scheduling needs worked together perfectly.  As if that weren’t enough in the way of blessings we discovered that our skills and life experiences complimented one another.  Beth has shared that although her first career choice as a teen was to become Jane Goodall, she thoroughly enjoyed 26 years of helping people, while always keeping her love of animals alive with her horses, cats, birds and dogs. Retirement from chiropractic practice brought Beth, her husband, and critters to the Tampa area, where she discovered Big Cat Rescue. This was truly a dream come true. As a dedicated red shirt volunteer this past year at BCR, she had already become thoroughly committed to the Big Cat mission, and jumped at the chance to make an even bigger impact by seeking the Education Director position. As she and her family are full time RVers, the opportunity to serve as ED of Big Cat Rescue and still have time for travel and family dovetailed perfectly with my school career and family commitments.

Every time we meet to discuss our job, we find more and more ways that we compliment each other in skills, talents and temperament. Of course there are no “accidents”. With Beth’s business experience and knowledge of technology and my experience in education we seem to be well suited for this job and believe that we can provide more as a team than either one of us could have accomplished alone.    I am currently spending limited time on site as Beth is assuming the position full time until I begin working full-time in June.  After summer camps are completed and as we move toward the end of July, Beth and I will begin working together as Co-education Directors.

We have met some of you already and appreciate the gracious welcome!

Coleen Kremer

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