top of page

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

Harrigan2022BioPic(1).jpeg

Molly Harrigan
Executive Director

<<<<<<<

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!

Emma Rohleder
Lead Teacher/Education Program Director

>>>>>>>>

I grew up in Calgary, Canada, and have lived in various places across the United States since then. I studied Ecology and French at the University of Minnesota, then worked in environmental education and wilderness schools ever since. In 2020 I finished my master's degree in Environmental Education from Antioch University of New England. I have been so lucky to live in some incredible places that have inspired me to fall in love with birding, wildlife tracking, and hunting for wild orchids. I love to play, so a preschool is a great place for me!

 

I am excited to serve families in Skagit and Island counties and to create a safe, positive community for our children at Fidalgo Nature School. I hope to help create a safe and accessible outdoor space for preschoolers where they can learn about themselves, each other, and the natural world.

EmmaRohleder (1).jpg
Luanne Ferrell.jpeg

Luanne Ferrell
Assistant Teacher

<<<<<<<<

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.

Lyssa Petitclerc
Teaching Aide

>>>>>>>>

I was born and raised in Anacortes, Washington, surrounded by beauty. I have a passion for anything outdoors—camping, fishing, hiking, paddle boarding, and hunting for agates, sea-glass, and mushrooms. I have a deep love for our local forest lands and beaches.

 

I enjoy working with kids in different settings. I have been a basketball coach of various age groups since I was 12 years old. I have experience nannying and also working in daycares. Most recently, I have been an assistant teacher at the Y Early Learning Center. Right after I graduated High school I attended Skagit Valley College in pursuit of a Nursing career. As time went on, I had change of heart. I am now working toward becoming a preschool teacher and fully pursuing my passion for working with kids.

image0 (2).jpeg
image_6487327.JPG

Christy Ascione
Substitute Teacher

<<<<<<<<

I was born and raised in northern Alberta, Canada, and have a degree in education, specializing in biology and French language. While completing my undergraduate degree, I uncovered a deep passion for travel and outdoor exploration. Since then, I have had the privilege of visiting over 15 countries and experiencing some pretty remarkable places. These experiences have shaped my interest in outdoor education as well as environmental preservation. I have experience teaching in traditional classrooms ranging from kindergarten to middle school, as well as informal conservation-based education focused on community outreach. 


My family and I just recently moved to Whidbey Island from the Florida Keys in the spring. Somehow I came across Fidalgo Nature School while looking for outdoor activities for myself and my one-year-old son. The educational philosophy of this school and its teachers really resonates with me and I am so proud to be a small part of this community. 

Christina Tristan
Substitute Teacher

>>>>>>>>

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.

res_1635189903133.jpg

J.R. Sosky
Substitute Teacher

<<<<<<<<

Aloha! I am so very pumped to be part of the FNS community! I have been working with children and teens in many capacities for the past 20 plus years whether it has been indoors, outdoors or on water. I have degrees in biology and marine science, the latter being a goal since I was a child. There's been a lot of discovery, creativity, and resilience building - adventures everyday it seems!

As an educator, I very much enjoy how children see the world around them and how they stoke their sense of wonder in a myriad of ways. I am seeing that it is becoming more and more vital for students to be out in nature. It's a joy and a privilege to be part of their learning journeys…bumps in the road and all. And these are all why I am so excited to be here working with your kids at FNS. 

 

My wife Kim and I have arrived in the western Washington area after living in central California for the past 22 years. With both of us having ties up here in this area, we felt it was the time to make our way back up. When not working with kids, I enjoy photography, comic books, Legos, talking with my two dogs, and scuba diving.

JRassistantteacherFNS.png

Angela Sheppard
Substitute Teacher

<<<<<<<<

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

Amelia Kolb, Chair

Katharine I., Secretary/Vice Chair

Natalie Clark, Treasurer

Krystle Taniguchi, Past Chair

Carrie Gassett

Deena Fort

Lee Henderson

Casey Harwood

Advisory Board

Anastasia Brencick, Founding Member/Past Chair

Jason Armstrong, State Parks Representative

Kat Y.K., Past Treasurer

 

IMG_9785.jpg
bottom of page