Charlotte Hendrick, Senior Naturalist and Saint Christopher Environmental Education extraordinaire, will be handing off her Senior Naturalist role to the very capable Grace Anne Martin this upcoming school year.
Charlotte has worked at Saint Christopher since August 2014. She’s been a Naturalist (2014-2015), a Senior Naturalist (2015-2016), and an Outdoor Encounters Session Leader (last summer and this upcoming summer).
My first encounter of Charlotte was representative of her as a person: when I arrived back in early January, having driven all the way from Michigan, Charlotte immediately introduced herself, slid on her shoes, and helped me unpack my filled-to-bursting car. It was the weekend, and I’m sure she had been intending to accomplish something that afternoon, but she thought nothing of placing her plans on hold to lend me a hand and to make me feel welcomed.
As a Senior Naturalist this year, Charlotte has gone above and beyond her job expectations. She’s not only fulfilled the requirements of Senior Naturalist (helping to lead staff meetings; aiding, training, and evaluating the rest of the Naturalist staff, etc.), she’s also taken the personal initiative to be a spiritual leader and a caretaker of the house. She’s led prayer time in the staff house, takes time out of her schedule regularly to spend one-on-one time checking in on Naturalists, and even often brings snacks to staff meetings (delicious snacks, at that).
Charlotte has an incredible heart and an unparalleled work drive, a combination that makes her an immeasurably positive influence on the staff and program at Barrier Island.
She’ll also probably blush at this blog post and tell me I’m being too complimentary, but trust me when I say that I’m not even close to doing justice to this incredible woman.
Grace Anne Martin hails from Spartanburg; she graduated from Centre College in Kentucky with a degree in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. Grace Anne loves to spend time with friends (organizing group trips is her forte). Her favorite BI class to teach is Skinks.
Grace Anne was recently offered the role of Senior Naturalist for this upcoming school year. In my (unsolicited) opinion, Grace Anne is going to do a fantastic job. She recently told me that her goal for next year is for the Naturalists to have true community–to share in the joys and difficulties of both work and daily life, and to uphold one another spiritually. She wants the staff house to be a place of honesty, love, and friendship; with a mindset like hers and a heart like hers, I’m sure Grace Anne will create this environment organically as she leads by example. The upcoming Naturalist staff will be blessed to have her encouraging and leading them, and the visiting students will be blessed to learn from her.
(Grace Anne is pretty good at taking advantage of photo opportunities, too.)
*A disclaimer: the two other current Senior Naturalists (Cortney and Sydney) and the other future Senior Naturalist (Walker) are and will be wonderful for the job, too. I just decided to rave about Charlotte and Grace Anne today.
In conclusion: thank you, thank you, Charlotte, and best of luck (not that you need it), Grace Anne.