Mildred Mary Wintz, EdD, is an educator and historian who has dedicated more than 50 years combining her deep knowledge of environmental science with her background in education and curriculum design. A self-described maverick who has led a multifaceted career, Dr. Wintz did not begin her career intending to become a teacher. She attended the University of Pennsylvania, briefly taking teacher education coursework before discovering her love for fine arts and architecture. She completed a Bachelor of Applied Arts in 1955 after several female-dominated programs were discontinued by school administration in favor of those with more male enrollees. For the rest of the decade, Dr. Wintz worked as a designer for John Reid Interiors and a trainer for the American Red Cross and the Girl Scouts of the United States of America.
During this time, Dr. Wintz joined the Union League of Philadelphia and became a member of the Upper Moreland Township Environmental Advisory Commission, initiating her career-spanning interest in environmental study and field science. In 1959, she became the principal of Wintz Associates, where she would continue to lead for many years until the firm’s eventual closure. She continued her studies in the 1970s, earning a Master of Arts in environmental education at Beaver College in 1979, and her Doctor of Education in curriculum theory at Temple University in 1987. Dr. Wintz began writing environmental education materials and curricula in the 1970s, publishing “Gray Fox Environmental Field Education Programs” in 1976 and “Discovery Trek Environmental Field Education Programs” in 1978, and accepted a position as the director of education for the Pennypack Watershed Association.
Through the next several decades, Dr. Wintz continued her mission as an environmental educator, working alongside organizations such as the Land Management Task Force, the Association of Interpretive Naturalists, and the Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Educators. In recognition of her commitment to creating and administering dynamic and relevant curricula, she was named Upper Moreland Township Woman of the Year and selected to receive honors including the Pennypack Watershed Association Environmental Award, a William Penn Award, and a citation on behalf of Upper Moreland Township. Outside her work in environmental education, Dr. Wintz has spent numerous years as a volunteer science fair judge.
In the late 2000s, Dr. Wintz and her husband relocated to Colorado after losing their family home to a fire. She remains active in environmentalism and educational outreach in Colorado, and has been an archivist for the Florence Historical Archive since 2010. Dr. Wintz has become a lifetime member of the Fremont County Historical Society and contributes original educational materials to the Fremont County Heritage Commission, Spirits of the Past, and Fremont County Stones’n’Bones. She credits her ongoing success to hard work, intellectual curiosity, and the support of her husband, a traditionally-minded architect who helps bring some much-needed stability to their lives.