Program Development Intern & Panel Member
Deb Perryman has always been fascinated by the wonders of nature and has spent her life sharing her love of nature with children. After spending a summer as a naturalist for a camp in the Pocono Mountains she quickly realized she wanted to be a teacher. She has been teaching since 1991, beginning at an alternative school located in Beaufort, South Carolina. Since 1994, Deb has taught Biology and Environmental Science at Elgin High School in Illinois, building an environmental program that is considered one of the best in the nation. The curriculum centers on a 40-acre campus nature trail and outdoor classroom. Deb’s students provide a wide variety of environmental education programs for local elementary and middle school students.
Her work has won her many accolades including the “2002 Conservation Educator of the Year” by the Illinois Association of Soil and Water Districts, “2005 Illinois Teacher of the Year” by the State Board of Education, “2012 Kane County Educator of the Year” by the Kane County Regional Office of Education and the “2014 Illinois Environmental Educator of the Year” by the Environmental Education Association of Illinois. In addition she was named a “National River Hero” by the River Network for her efforts to restore and protect Poplar Creek; one of the only B rated streams in Cook County, Illinois (Chicago Region). Deb’s class projects have also been featured in two PBS Documentaries;” Edens Lost and Found” and “Designing Healthy Communities”.