Volunteer Spotlight: Mark
Mark has been a dedicated volunteer with KSB for many years. He and his wife, Sarah, both teach kindergarten at Sevierville Primary. He has taught kindergarten for 16 years and has 4 dogs, 4 chickens, 3 cats, and 2 sheep. Mark is an organizer for the Special Olympics Golf League that is going on its 10th year.
What inspired you to volunteer with Keep Sevier Beautiful?
My first experience with KSB was several years ago through Sevierville Primary. I have always been interested in recycling and the environment. I remember that my dad used to take me to his work when I was a child at the Chicago Sanitary District, across the highway was the city dump. He would tell me “the poop and trash has to go somewhere and someone has to take care of it!”. Those words stuck with me and I returned years later to work at CSD during my college days. It was really eye opening to work so closely to the mountain of garbage at the landfill. I have been passionate about working and volunteering to protect the environment ever since.
Why do you think that it’s important to give back to our environment?
I earned a degree in Law Enforcement and Sociology in college. A question was presented in one of my sociology classes that I will never forget: what is more to a society, a lawyer or a garbage man? At first I thought lawyer for sure, but after thinking about it for a while, you have to agree that a garbage man is more valuable!
I strongly believe that our society need to focus more on environmental issues and education that goes along with it. Teachers and parents can make a difference by planting an environmental seed in our youth that has real meaning so that they can grow up with environmental values that they may act on.
The problem is that most people don’t believe that there is a real problem facing our environment, so it is up to small groups like KSB and environmentally focused individuals to make positive change so the younger generations have an environment that is healthy and safe for all. I truly believe that “the most violent element in society is ignorance” (Emma Goldman)
What would you say to someone who was interested in volunteering with KSB?
Without the environment, we have nothing. If you are interested in volunteering with KSB, I would suspect that you have a concern for the environment like the rest of us, so come join the cause! ‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world” (Gandhi).
Thank you, Mark, for your dedication to education, the environment, and Keep Sevier Beautiful’s mission!