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

Emma Rohleder
Director/Lead Teacher

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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.

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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.

Lyssa Petitclerc
Teaching Aide

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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.

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Christy Ascione
Substitute Teacher

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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

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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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Board of Directors

Anastasia Brencick, Chair

Amelia Kolb, Vice Chair/Treasurer

Kat I., Secretary

Kat Y.K.

Jason Armstrong

Krystle Taniguchi

Carrie Gassett