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Meet our team, dedicated to providing a high-quality early learning program in our outdoor classroom.

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Molly Harrigan
Executive Director

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Hello! I’m Molly Harrigan, Executive Director of Fidalgo Nature School. What a joy to be among this place and these people at this time! I’m particularly excited that our program weaves Nature into the daily life of youth and that we provide nourishing resources for local families.

 

I have over 20 years of experience developing recreational and educational programs, emphasizing people with disabilities. I have managed programs with three non-profits and two city programs. I enjoy so many parts of this work ranging from relationship building to data analysis and budgeting. I hope to help reduce barriers so that all voices are included when playing and learning at Bowman Bay!

Kylie Gilbert
2023/2024 Lead Teacher/Program Director

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Kylie spent her childhood days outside eating miner's lettuce with her loyal goat Goatie in Northern California, repelling out of trees barefoot, constructing zip lines, building underground forts, and of course, sleeping under the stars. This ingrained connection with the natural world set the stage for Kylie’s purpose to bloom; turning the outdoors into a space of learning and growth for the leaders of tomorrow.

 

As a Teacher, Life-Long Learner, Director, Researcher, and Graduate Faculty Member, Kylie has worn many hats in the field of Nature-Based Education. Most recently, Kylie spent 2022 travelling the world, visiting forest schools and observing how the movement is adapting and taking root in all different corners around the globe. Prior to this, Kylie ran her own Forest Preschool Program out of the Santa Monica Mountains and obtained one of the only Graduate degrees in Forest Schooling in the world, an M.Ed. with a certificate in Nature-Based Early Childhood Education from Antioch University. 

 

Kylie has a playful teaching style, a deep passion for spiritual ecology, and encourages her students to investigate how we can work with nature in order to resolve conflicts both within our natural environments and ourselves. She is passionate about reducing barriers and offering high-quality forest schooling to all.

 

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Luanne Ferrell
Assistant Teacher

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I am a mother to 4 children and a wife to a Naval Officer, but that doesn’t truly define who I am. My passion is in everything outdoors. I have had the privilege to live and explore many different regions and cultures of our great country. I grew up in Longview, Washington. I studied archaeology and geology at the University of Oregon and then moved on to earn my master’s degree in archaeology and geology from Oregon State University. Upon graduating I had my first child, and my husband joined the Navy. I have been traveling the world ever since.
 

In 2018 I started teaching outdoor classes for children in my community. I fell in love with the concept of nature schools and decided to get a degree in early childhood education. I hope to bring my love of the outdoors together with my passion for teaching children. Our youth deserve a safe place to learn, grow, and develop their own passion for themselves, others, and the natural world.  It is my desire to provide that space for them at Fidalgo Nature School.

Christina Tristan
Substitute Teacher

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Hi! My name is Christina. My husband and I have recently relocated to Whidbey Island in semi-retirement, but honestly it was to be closer to our grandchildren who are growing much too fast! Being native Southern Californians, we thought the move would be much more difficult than it has been. We have found that we absolutely love everything about this beautiful state! Being close to two of our three adult children and creating new memories - priceless! I have an AS in Early Childhood Studies, an AA in Social Sciences, and a BA in Human Development. I have been so fortunate to have followed my dream of teaching for 35 years, the past 20 as a Head Start teacher encouraging and observing the love of learning develop as the children explored their environment. I have also been a Mentor Teacher for the California Mentor Program for the past 16 years. Training, supporting, and modeling developmentally appropriate practices were my responsibilities as a Mentor Teacher. This is also where I learned of different curriculum and programs, and I truly loved the idea of nature school. I look forward to sharing your children’s time as they create, explore, and learn here in Bowman Bay with all of its natural materials.

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Angela Sheppard
Substitute Teacher

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I grew up in Colorado, skiing, snowboarding, hiking and mountain biking.  Both of my parents instilled in me a deep love of nature as well as a desire to teach others to love and respect our natural spaces. I have had the opportunity to live from coast to coast as well as three years in Japan and I feel very grateful to have explored so many beautiful places and to have met so many interesting people.

I have a masters degree in Criminal Justice and spent many years working to help people from a social justice perspective.  After having kids I decided to become a stay at home mom, but as most moms know, I did very little staying home, lol. I have worked countless hours as a teacher's aid as well as for the San Diego Parks and Recreation Department. In 2017 I began work as an interpretive trail guide for elementary school children in San Diego and realized I had finally found what I want to be when I grow up. Working at Fidalgo Nature School is a dream job. I can’t think of anything better than to spend everyday outside in nature; teaching and exploring with young minds!

Board of Directors

Deena Fort, Chair

Casey Harwood, Vice Chair

Jacynda Wheeler, Treasurer

Tisha Marosi, Secretary

Chelsea Harmon

Kevin Cussen

Rana Alcocer

Krystle Taniguchi, Past Chair

Natalie Clark, Past Treasurer

Advisory Board

Anastasia Brencick, Founding Member/Past Chair

Jason Armstrong, State Parks Representative

Kat Y.K., Past Treasurer

 

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