A leadership change for the board of the Environmental Education Association of South Carolina (EEASC) also marks a passing of the torch from one Richland County employee to another.
EEASC board members recently elected Chenille Williams, education program coordinator for the County’s Stormwater Management Division, as the association’s new president. Williams succeeds Chanda Cooper, who completed a two-year term as president and serves as the County’s conservation education analyst.
Williams was installed as president in a ceremony Tuesday at the Harbison State Forest gazebo.
“Environmental education has always been a passion of mine, and being elected as president of EEASC is a great honor,” Williams said. “Chanda has set a great foundation, and I’m looking forward to carrying on her work and bringing new ideas to the table.”
The change follows Williams’ own two-year term as EEASC vice president.
Equipping SC’s Environmental Educators
Cooper said Richland County is recognized as a statewide leader in environmental education because County employees are highly active in their professional organizations. She said Williams was the best choice to lead the EEASC.
“I have worked closely with Chenille for many years on County outreach programs as well as on EEASC initiatives, and there is no one better qualified or better prepared to step into the role of EEASC president and lead the organization into 2022,” Cooper said.
The nonprofit EEASC focuses on environmental and natural resource conservation education and seeks to connect, support and equip educators to promote environmental stewardship. Cooper has served on the EEASC’s board since 2013, with Williams joining in 2018.
Under Cooper’s term as president, EEASC membership grew from 151 to 227. The organization also held its first fundraisers in recent memory and recruited sponsors and grants to develop new programs and support ongoing initiatives.
Moving forward, Williams said she is excited to see what resources the EEASC will bring to educators statewide as the newly adopted Palmetto Environmental Education Certification and Green Steps programs develop under the EEASC umbrella. She said she intends to grow the organization’s board and continue to bring in a variety of perspectives.