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A Taste for Adventure by Cathy Cashio
Fall 2003      


story extras

Meeting Jane Goodall


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Disney's teacher awards

Galapagos Islands cyber field trip

Grapevine High School Ecology Center

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Cheering on the Green and White

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A Taste for Adventure




Meeting Jane Goodall

Steward-Ganz and children
Sherri Steward-Ganz's mentor, primatologist Jane Goodall, center, helped dedicate the Grapevine High School Ecology Center.

One of Sherri Steward-Ganz's most memorable projects began after she learned about a presentation primatologist Jane Goodall was giving in Fort Worth.

"I was determined to meet her," says Steward-Ganz.

After frequent calls, faxes and much persistence, a gold-edged invitation arrived.

Steward-Ganz says she felt like Cinderella going to the ball to meet her childhood idol.

"I showed up in a borrowed evening dress and sat alone," she says. "I was surprised when Jane approached me and sat with me during the event."

Goodall proved to be more than a fairy godmother or idol from a magazine.

She inspired Steward-Ganz to create an environmental curriculum and outdoor learning center at Grapevine High School.

In 1991, when Steward-Ganz tried to build the ecology center on land behind the school, she didn't know she would face so many obstacles. With a dumpsite on the land, there were plans to pave the area and turn it into a parking lot.

Despite opposition, Steward-Ganz petitioned the school board to give her a year to create an outdoor learning center. Her request was finally granted, and a year after the cleanup started, Goodall helped dedicate the four-acre open-air sanctuary known as the Grapevine High School Ecology Center.

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