Meet the Teachers

Sarah Besse

Sarah is passionate about developing innovative early education opportunities that engage the whole child and that foster joy and creativity.  To achieve this goal, she draws on experiences that have taught her to value a deep connection to nature as essential for the well-being of individuals, communities, and our planet. Sarah's work at BOPN is also driven by research showing the benefits of extended time in nature for young children: deep appreciation for our environment; better agility, balance, and coordination; more imaginative forms of play; stress reduction; and improvements in confidence, social skills, language, motivation, concentration, resiliency, and critical thinking.  Previously, she taught at a Montessori preschool.  Sarah also taught boat building to 50 - 70 elementary school students each year.  With the support of families, school leaders, and community partners, she reimagined the program, integrating STEM, visual art, humanities, and physical education. 


Sarah has a Masters of Science in Early Childhood Education from Wheelock College and a B.A. from Carleton College.

Shela Sinelien

With over ten years of experience as a preschool teacher, Shela brings joy and warmth to her teaching.  She builds on each child’s unique strengths and interests while creating a strong sense of community.  Her nurturing guidance began in 2007 at MGH Children's Center, where she taught children ages 3 through 14.  In 2011 she started as an infant, toddler, and preschool teacher at Bright Horizons; in 2015, she managed a staff of 25 teachers as Interim Director.  During that time, Shela also earned her Bachelor of Science in Child Studies from Lesley University with a specialization in Children with Special Needs.  For the past four years, Shela has taught children with and without disabilities at a Cambridge public school and earned her Masters of Science in Early Childhood Education from Wheelock College of Education at Boston University.

Shela’s love of nature is rooted in her childhood in the countryside of Haiti, playing and learning on the farm and in the forest with her four sisters.  On weekends, you can find Shela singing at church services and spending time with her husband Kesnel, one-year-old son Jaeden, and baby Kesllah.  

Sara Murray

Sara is a seasoned educator with a variety of experiences in Early Childhood and Elementary programs in upstate New York, where she grew up, and the greater Boston area where she has lived for the past 23 years.  Sara holds a Bachelor's degree in Elementary and Special Education, and a Master's in Reading education.  After teaching in public schools in NY and MA, Sara got her Montessori certification and spent five years teaching in area Montessori schools.  She worked at a local independent school as the Coordinator of Early Childhood and an Admissions Associate for three years before transitioning back to the classroom where she worked for the past six years as a First Grade teacher.  In the summer of 2018, Sara worked at a Nature Preschool summer camp in Newton, and this summer, Sara is working at the Allandale Farm Summer Program in Brookline.  In the past few years, Sara has attended many conferences and workshops on nature-based learning and the importance of child-directed play. 


Sara loves spending time with her husband, teenage son, three cats, and one dog.  She loves animals, nature, and traveling to new places.

Sara's class twitter from last year:

Click here for Teacher Spotlight interview on Ideas and Innovations in Early Childhood Education

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  • Rosario Caicedo, Master's of Social Work

Meet the Board

Chris Novak

Bio coming soon!

Bill Brinkman

Bio coming soon!

Hannah Sheridan

Bio coming soon!


Please note that while BOPN has a friendly relationship with the Arboretum, we are separate organizations and the Arboretum is not involved with organizing or operating BOPN's programs.

Nondiscrimination statement:

Boston Outdoor Preschool Network admits students of any race to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at BOPN and does not discriminate on the basis of race in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship programs, and other school-administered programs.