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Ray Tschillard

PROJECT AFFILIATION:

PROFESSIONAL ROLES

  • K-12 Administrator 

BIO

Ray Tschillard is the Director of the Poudre Learning Center, Coordinator of Science for Weld County School District 6 in Greeley-Evans, Colorado and President of the Board of Directors for the Poudre Learning Center

Before coming to District 6 in the fall of 2003, Ray was with Biological Science Curriculum Study (BSCS) in Colorado Springs where his work focused on reforming science education through the selection and implementation of inquiry-based instructional materials in school districts nation-wide. Ray facilitated efforts in Los Angeles, Cincinnati, San Diego, Winston-Salem, Fresno and Colorado.

Prior to his time at BSCS, Ray had combined over twenty-four years of teaching Earth Science in grades six through the graduate level. His most recent teaching appointment was at University Lab School, located on the campus of the University of Northern Colorado, (UNC) in Greeley, Colorado. His courses included: Geology, Meteorology, Astronomy, and interdisciplinary science courses. In addition to teaching, he co-designed and developed several interdisciplinary experiential learning courses that included research and extended camping along the Cache la Poudre River, Pawnee Buttes area and the Four Corners Area. While at UNC, Ray was actively involved in professional development for secondary science teachers as a contributor to the Colorado State Science Standards for the Earth & Space Sciences, as a working member of the UNC / Eisenhower Grant on restructuring Teachers Preparation Programs, and as a mentor, motivator, and evaluator for more than 100 pre-service teachers and student teacher candidates. Ray was honored in 2001 with the Special Teacher Recognition Award and Grant from the Boettcher Foundation, and in 1997 Phi Delta Kappa selected him as the Outstanding Educator.

Ray has delivered numerous presentations about his experiences in experiential learning, interdisciplinary classes and earth science education at state, national and international professional meetings. He has also co-authored the following interdisciplinary and experiential curricula materials: Natural Science Field Study Guide for the Cache la Poudre River, Legend & Legacy - A Guide to the Life Systems at the Poudre Learning Center, and Water Wise Colorado - An Interdisciplinary Curriculum in Water Education.

Ray was elected founding president of the Colorado Earth Science Network from 1987 to 1990. He served as the Western United States Associate Director of the National Science Foundation funded Program for Leadership in Earth System Education and was a Teacher-Trainer for the international G.L.O.B.E. Program. Currently, he is member of the American Geological Institute's National Committee for Earth Science Education.

Most recently, Ray was selected to be the first Director of the Poudre Learning Center, a multi-disciplinary, earth systems-based, educational organization that offers an outdoor experiential learning environment for the general public, K-College students and teacher development. The 65-acre site is located along the Cache la Poudre River and on a developing regional trail corridor. The PLC supports a wide variety of educational opportunities along the Poudre River Watershed. In February 2008, Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education awarded Ray the Enos Mills Lifetime Achievement Award- the highest honor for environmental educators in Colorado. This award commemorates the 19th century naturalist, Enos Mills, whose vision, photographs and writings were largely responsible for the establishment of Rocky Mountain National Park. Like Enos Mills, Ray has demonstrated leadership and commitment to the field of environmental education through the body of his work.

Ray completed his MA degree in Earth Science at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado. He received a bachelor's degree in Earth Science from Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa.
The Iowa native and his wife Debbie live in Greeley. They have two adult married children, Zac and Amber; and two grandkids- Hailey & Owen. 

EXPERTISE

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

Tschillard, R. L. & Lamb, T. A., (2005)
Evaluating learning in professional development workshops: Using the retrospective pretest. The Journal of Research in Professional Learning http://nsdc.org/library/publications/research/lowden.pdf