AEE Leadership: Our Staff & Board of Directors

AEE Staff

Sherry Bagley
Executive Director

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Contact: Sherry@aee.org

303-440-8844 x100

Sherry Bagley is the Executive Director of the Association for Experiential Education. In this role, she gets to assist in the elevation and expansion of experiential education by building an inclusive and accessible community; supporting research and programs; and presenting resources to public audiences. Her career path has taken some hard turns from driving tug boats in the Marshall Islands to catering weddings on the beach. She found her true calling when she began working in the experiential education field over 13 years ago. She can often be found out on or in the water swimming, fishing, boating, kayaking, snorkeling, and scalloping. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida in a 100-year-old house with her amazing husband, 2 great kids, 2 polite dogs, and 2 ridiculous cats. 

Steve Pace, M.S.W.
Director of Accreditations and Certifications 

Pronouns: he/him/his
Contact: steve@aee.org

303-440-8844 x102

Steve was introduced to the power of experiential education when he was an undergraduate at Antioch College. He was transformed after participating in a 3-month semester course and had the opportunity to lead a similar course before he graduated. Since that time Steve worked for eleven years at the Voyageur Outward Bound School as an instructor, course director, program director, and risk manager. He then spent 25 years at Prescott College teaching in the Psychology and Human Development and Adventure Education Programs and later as the Dean of Resident Degrees.  His areas of expertise include adventure education and college program administration, risk management of field activities, interpersonal and group communication, mediation and conflict resolution, and therapeutic use of adventure education.

In 1979 Steve went to his first AEE Conference and was introduced to this remarkable community of educators. Later Steve became an active member of AEE and served both as the President of the Board of Directors, and as the Chair of the Accreditation Council. For over twenty years Steve has witnessed the effectiveness of the AEE accreditation process and how it gives organizations a comprehensive method to evaluate and evolve. He is humbled to work with the many talented and dedicated volunteers who make this grassroots program so strong.

In addition to his work at AEE, Steve serves as a member of the Wilderness Risk Managers Conference Steering Committee, the Safety Committee of the Board of Outward Bound USA, and is an Emeritus Professor at Prescott College.

Anna Miano
Membership & Marketing Manager

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Contact: anna@aee.org

303-440-8844 x 101

Anna is thrilled to serve the AEE community through her role as the Membership & Marketing Manager.  Anna grew up exploring the natural world around her through hiking, camping, rock-climbing, kayaking, and countless other adventures with her family. Anna built her values around the natural world and learning through experience from an early age. Anna also had the opportunity to experience the benefits of experiential education early on in her schooling; as a "lifer" of a Quaker School in Philadelphia. Anna's professional background includes working within the Admissions department of an experientially-focused K-12 School, and as an Event Manager for corporate clients around the world. Anna is thrilled to serve the AEE community through her role as the Membership & Marketing Manager, a role that leverages both her professional skills as well as her personal values. When she isn't serving the AEE community, Anna can be found hiking, running, baking, painting, or playing with any and all dogs she can find (including her own). Anna currently lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with her partner and dog.


Board of Directors

 
 T. Grant Lewis
President (2022)
Director/Teaching Assistant Professor, Adventure Recreation Management, West Virginia University Institute of Technology (WVU Tech) 

I have been involved in experiential education for the past 26 years, and a member of AEE since 2003. AEE has been an important and supportive aspect of my professional and personal growth, and in many ways is where I feel grounded and connected. Over the years, I have served as an accreditation reviewer, regional conference host committee member in both the Northeast and Rocky Mountain regions, the co-convener for the Northeast regional conference, a member of the Rocky Mountain Regional Leadership Council, and a workshop and scholarship reviewer for the AEE International Conference. I have facilitated and delivered workshops at both regional and international conferences, facilitated several Playnotes on the regional level, and was an ActivatEE speaker in 2017. My desire is to be a part of furthering individual growth by serving and supporting others in creating a sense of connection to the association, while assisting in AEE's continued development as an organization that forwards the vision and outcomes of experiential education. 

Carla Hacker
Secretary (2022)
Graduate Faculty, University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse

Carla has been an educator for more than 30 years with a passion for teaching and learning experientially. Her love for helping students form strong learning communities led Carla to become the program director and teacher for an adventure based experiential education program in the school district in Madison, Wisconsin, USA. She is currently a graduate faculty member for the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse in LaCrosse, WI. for classroom teachers pursuing a Master’s degree in  Professional Development with an emphasis on Experiential Education and group process. In addition, Carla is a trainer for Experiential Systems, Inc. and part-time faculty in the Recreation Management program at Madison College. Carla holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Masters degree in Experiential and Environmental Education from Radford University in Radford, Virginia. She has presented her work nationally and internationally at a variety of conferences as well as in workshops for educators in India, Taiwan, China and Canada. 

Jonah Hacker
Treasurer (2023)

Product Manager, MSI Data

Jonah is a Product Manager at a growing software company in Milwaukee, WI. As treasurer of the board, Jonah is committed to ensuring that AEE thrives financially as it pursues its mission of elevating experiential education as a positive force for change in the world. Jonah holds a BA in French from St. Olaf College, and an MBA from the University of Minnesota. Jonah is an adventuresome home cook, amateur string bass player, and mediocre gardener. Prior to entering the private sector, Jonah worked as a teacher for several years. He is excited to contribute to the future development of AEE.

Ed Maggart

Member At Large (2022)
Experiential Education Consultant

More recently I served as Head of School for The College School, an independent PreK- 8 school in St Louis, which is experientially based. At TCS I enjoyed working with younger students and providing space for our amazing teachers to innovate. I also focused on professional development, creating a student support center, bolstering our summer program, and building a learning center on 30 acres of land outside of town and developing associated curriculum. While in St. Louis, I helped found a 501c3 called the Experiential Education Exchange, which is focused on providing training in experiential education to public and independent school teachers. I also served on the Board for the Independent Schools of St Louis (ISSL) and on the Board for a start-up experiential charter school. I moved back to Asheville NC in the summer of 2018 and have been working as an educational consultant since that time serving schools and other organizations around the SE region. I have been married for 33 years to Sue who is retired from nursing and frequently runs half marathons. (I can’t keep up with her BTW.) We have one child, Jessica, a teacher, who lives in Houston and had her first child, Marie, in April!

Vinay Sirsi

Member at Large​ (2023)
Educator/Leadership Consultant
Vinay is an educator/leadership consultant based out of Bangalore, Karnataka, India. He grew up climbing & hiking in Southern India and has continued to do so across the world. He has worked in various leadership/advisory roles across the adventure travel and outdoor education industry. He is a Certified Professional Facilitator working with adult populations in the areas of Team Performance & Leadership Development, NOLS Field & Wild Med Instructor and continues to look for new adventures paragliding, scuba diving & kiting with his 11yr Old twins.
Mx. Jeromy Slaby​ (he/him)

Secretary Elect (2024)
Elementary School Teacher

Jeromy is an elementary teacher now based in Seattle, Washington. Previous to Seattle, he called Durango, Colorado his home where he studied Adventure Education at Fort Lewis College. It was here that Jeromy first came to know AEE through helping plan the Rocky Mountain Regional Conferences. Being a young professional, his experience with online, outdoor, and classroom settings for education provides him with a diverse lens that will strengthen the association. Likewise, his experience with and knowledge of modern social justice and political movements will support AEE's ends.
As for the outdoors, Jeromy is an avid hiker, backpacker, and camper. While he will try any adventure at least twice, he can confidently say that he is most comfortable on the ground. You can find Jeromy anywhere you can set up a hammock that is as far away from the highway as possible. 
Stephanie Speicher

Member at Large​ (2023)
Assistant Professor of Teacher Education

Dr. Stephanie Speicher’s diverse teaching and professional experience provide her a unique skill set to guide and support the success of the Association for Experiential Education. Stephanie holds a defined skillset built and strengthened over time in varied settings with a concentration on authentic curriculum design, school leadership, and the development of powerful learning communities. Throughout her career, she has had the opportunity to work in a variety of educational settings from traditional schools as a social studies teacher to a backpacking/rock climbing instructor for Outward Bound, and public charter school administrator. As a Board Member, Stephanie aims to bridge multiple facets of the education community together to sustain the momentum of powerful educative experiences on a global scale. She currently is an Assistant Professor of Teacher Education at Weber State University. Her research interests include pre-service teacher agency development through the use of experiential methods and the implementation of learning communities in the classroom. She is living in Utah where she can boundlessly recreate with her family. 

Jay Zarr

President-Elect (2021-2025)

Pueblo West Colorado

Jay is a master of using natural settings and adventure-based experiences to teach leadership, teamwork, and self-esteem. He works quickly to establish trust among all group members and has them involved, interested and motivated.

Jay offers a unique perspective from his 40+ years in the field about the value of self-knowledge, the collaborative nature of leadership, and a leader's role as a servant. His experiences range from working in Higher Education, a Senior Instructor for the Wilderness Education Association, United States Forest Service, At-risk (At Promise) youth, Aging to Saging Certify Instructor to serving as the Board President of the Nature and Raptor Center of Pueblo. In addition, his involvement has been creating programs at 3 Higher Education institutions and twoAt Risk ( I prefer the term "At Promise")  High schools and helping design the 10th Mountain Hut System in Colorado.  Along with his wife, Cleo is the CO-Owner of Story Tellers Travels and Imagine If a Mind, Body and Spirit Connections Company. Turning the Ordinary into Extraordinary.  Recently along with Dr. Bob Stremba and Andrea Parrish has founded the Experience Collaborative.

Abby Oxborough

Member At Large (2021-2024)

Director of Leadership Programming and General Manager at a family-owned resort in Northern Minnesota

Abby is the Director of Leadership Programming and General Manager at a family-owned resort in Northern Minnesota. She was first exposed to experiential education as a camp counselor, where her love for the outdoors translated to meaningful experiences with campers and staff alike. Abby has done everything from working a corporate Marketing job to teaching English in Thailand to writing and editing travel articles - all of which have contributed to her current role in helping small businesses and groups discover strengths and grow as a team in a retreat setting through experiential learning. Abby grew up in Northern Minnesota and her accent really comes to life when talking with her mother. She’s visited over 55 countries (and counting), will be giving a TED Talk in the Spring about the power of customer service, and recently graduated with her MS in Experiential Education from MSU Mankato. 

Tom Shorrock

Member At Large (2021-2024)

Operations Manager for the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award based in Abu Dhabi

Tom Shorrock is an Operations Manager for the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award based in Abu Dhabi and oversees the development of the Award in the UAE. After obtaining a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Bristol, Tom worked in Industry for 6 years in the UK & France. Alongside his work, he was also a member of the local Army Reserve unit. He developed his love for the outdoors and non-formal education by taking part in various courses as well as being involved with the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).  His activities with the RSC, allowed him to develop teaching and learning beyond the classroom and create community outreach activities with the help of his local section. Work with the Society has continued throughout his career and was subsequently awarded with a Fellowship. It was during his involvement with the cadet force and working with the RSC, he made the decision to become a teacher and trained through the Graduate Teacher Training Programme. Having taught in the UK, Tom went on to teach Chemistry, Science and French at various schools in Qatar, Bahrain and UAE. He has an interest in Education but in particular Non-Formal Education and how the latter is important for young people throughout school ages but also later on for the world of work.

Tom holds various qualifications: Certificate in Business Management, Diploma in Risk Management, Certified Foresight Practitioner(Futures Foresight and Strategic Planning through The Futures School by Kedge). 

Rosanne Mistretta

Secretary-Elect (2021-2025)

Faculty, The Darrow School, New York

I started my experiential education adventures at Girl Scout camp, where I fell in love with backpacking and canoeing.  That led me to jobs with several camps and Minnesota Outward Bound School. The environment is one of my passions, which led me to my first career as a lawyer for the US Environmental Protection Agency in Philadelphia. After 11 years, I decided to try education and went back to school for a Master's in Environmental Education. That led me to my current career in K-12 schools, first as a science teacher, then as a director of sustainability and experiential learning.  I was at Abington Friends School for 22 years and am now working at the wonderful Darrow School in New Lebanon, NY. 


Interested in serving on the AEE Board of Directors? Have Questions or a Grievance?

Email the Board at board@aee.org or the 2021 Board President, T Grant Lewis tgrantlewis@gmail.com