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Ernie Miller Nature Center's Postlewait to receive NAI's Front-Line Interpreter Award
POSTED: 11/03/2010
District officials have received word that Postlewait will be presented with a Master Frontline Interpreter Award during the NAI's National Workshop which will take place Nov. 16-20 in Los Vegas.

"This is the culmination of many years of hard work on her part, working not only here, but at other organizations in Kansas City and the in the region and nationally," JCPRD Outdoor Education Manager Bill McGowan said. "Molly is very very deserving and she is an outstanding interpreter and has been very gracious about sharing her abilities and skills and ideas with other professionals. She's presented at regional and national workshops."

Postlewait was nominated for the award by Scott Mair, Program Manager of the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary, near Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Postlewait said she first met Mair when he attended a session she presented during a National Interpretive Workshop in Tucson, Ariz., in 2000.

"He is an amazing person and an interpreter who goes all around the world doing programming," Postlewait said. "He's a person who's certainly inspired me."

Mair's nomination was further supported by letters of recommendation from: McGowan; Kansas State University Professor and Assistant Department Head in Horticulture, Forestry and Recreation Resources Ted T. Cable; Lezlie Murray of the U.S. Forest Service in Alaska; and Kelly Farrell of the state of Arkansas.

Mair starts off his nomination by talking about meeting Postlewait at the Tucson workshop.

"Her session was fresh, original, completely engaging and gave me some essential direction on how I could incorporate more movement into my own interpretive events," he wrote. "Since then, whenever our paths cross, I make certain I take in one of Molly's programs and have discovered that she brings the same professionalism, creativity and sense of artistry to everything she does"

During 2009, Mair notes, Postlewait performed over 200 programs and received outstanding ratings from the public. She also supervises two 10-week summer Outdoor Discovery Camps, and teaches three specialty camps. In her role as volunteer coordinator, she coordinated over 2,300 volunteer hours.

Outside of work, Postlewait presents a number of workshops and interpretive and storytelling programs. She has a slate of one-women shows she performs portraying characters including Girl Scout Founder Juliett Gorden Low, Temperance Advocate Carry Nation, and pirate Grace O' Malley. She has also made audio recordings, written for several publications, and appeared on radio shows.

She has conducted training for other organizations including: the Frankfurt (Germany) International School in 2009; Interpreter training for Arkansas State Parks in 2006 and 2009; and sessions for the Interpretive Site Coalition of Greater Kansas City in 1999, 2001, and 2003.

While the Master Frontline Interpreter Award will be her first national NAI recognition, she has previously received six awards from the NAI's Regional Six, in which she is active. Among these was an Outstanding Interpretive Program Award she received in February for a program she developed and presents called "Lamp of Freedom" about the Underground Railroad in Kansas.

Postlewait responded to news of her upcoming award with great humbleness.

"I just feel very lucky that I landed in a place like JCPRD," she said. "I do feel like I was supported by people who let me try things. I came into an organization that already had such strong interpretation programming and I was just allowed to put my two cents in. I feel very, very fortunate that Bill McGowan and (JCPRD Park Police Chief) Dan Field took a chance on me. Everybody works very hard and a lot of it is luck and being seen by the right person. I've been lucky, I really have."

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