Teachers

Sarah Besse

Co-Founder

&

Executive Director 

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 and reimagined the boat building program at a Boston public school.  

Moving forward, Sarah is excited to start new programs and to partner with public schools to make nature-based early ed accessible to more children.  

 

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

Shela Sinelien

Shela Sinelien

Co-Founder

&

Director of Full Day Arb Location

With over ten years of experience as an early childhood 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, two-year-old son Jaeden, and baby Kesllah. 

Sara Murray

Co-Founder

&

Director of Half Day Arb Location

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 almost 25 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 six years as a First Grade teacher.  In the summer of 2018, Sara worked at the Nature Explorer Summer Camp at Temple Shalom in Newton and for the summer of 2019, she worked at the Allandale Farm Summer Program in Brookline. 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.

 

Click here for Teacher Spotlight interview with Sara Murray.

Advisors 

Advisors

Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Kylie Sorenson

Lead Preschool Teacher

Wellesley Location

Summers spent playing outside, swimming, and exploring at her grandparent’s house in Northern Michigan shaped Kylie’s love of nature from an early age.  At the age of 10, she decided that she wanted to be Jane Goodall, which to her meant inspiring young people, making an impact for the benefit of the environment, and maybe studying some chimpanzees. In pursuit of that goal, during college she spent summers studying lemurs in the forests of North Carolina and monkeys in the Amazon Rainforest. While studying for her BA in biology at Wellesley College, Kylie developed a passion for early childhood education as an assistant teacher at the Wellesley Community Children’s Center. After graduation, she continued working as a lead teacher at WCCC. 

 

Kylie completed her MSc in environmental conservation from Oxford Brookes University in Oxford, England in 2019. Over the course of her program, she studied environmental education and worked in Madagascar implementing an outdoor education program to introduce young Malagasy students to the lemurs in their local national park. While no longer studying monkeys, she is so excited to continue her dream of being Jane Goodall by supporting children’s curiosity, wonder, confidence, and love of the Earth with BOPN. She has recently returned from living in London and is thrilled to bring her passions for early childhood and environmental education to the Wellesley program! 

Donovan Riley Robinson

Lead Preschool Teacher

Arboretum Location

Donovan Riley Robinson is a sustainable educator born and raised in Western Mass. He graduated from Amherst Regional High School with multiple certificates of excellence both as a student and an athlete. In college Donovan left his athletic career behind in order to focus on his passion for agriculture and complete his BA in arts and sustainability from Goddard College. There he discovered a passion for music through hip hop. Donovan's creative and productive mindset, as well as his knack for collaboration, inspired him and his closest friends to create what is now known as, "The Flood Farm Garden and Arts Collective", during his final year as his final thesis study. He continues to use the collective platform for creative projects today. Over the past year Donovan has worked as a science teacher for middle schoolers in Brooklyn, NY. He values and respects the importance of sustainable education and inclusion, through collaboration and teaching. 

Kylie Sorenson

Lead Preschool Teacher

Wellesley Location

Summers spent playing outside, swimming, and exploring at her grandparent’s house in Northern Michigan shaped Kylie’s love of nature from an early age.  At the age of 10, she decided that she wanted to be Jane Goodall, which to her meant inspiring young people, making an impact for the benefit of the environment, and maybe studying some chimpanzees. In pursuit of that goal, during college she spent summers studying lemurs in the forests of North Carolina and monkeys in the Amazon Rainforest. While studying for her BA in biology at Wellesley College, Kylie developed a passion for early childhood education as an assistant teacher at the Wellesley Community Children’s Center. After graduation, she continued working as a lead teacher at WCCC. 

 

Kylie completed her MSc in environmental conservation from Oxford Brookes University in Oxford, England in 2019. Over the course of her program, she studied environmental education and worked in Madagascar implementing an outdoor education program to introduce young Malagasy students to the lemurs in their local national park. While no longer studying monkeys, she is so excited to continue her dream of being Jane Goodall by supporting children’s curiosity, wonder, confidence, and love of the Earth with BOPN. She has recently returned from living in London and is thrilled to bring her passions for early childhood and environmental education to the Wellesley program! 

Donovan Riley Robinson

Lead Preschool Teacher

Arboretum Location

Donovan Riley Robinson is a sustainable educator born and raised in Western Mass. He graduated from Amherst Regional High School with multiple certificates of excellence both as a student and an athlete. In college Donovan left his athletic career behind in order to focus on his passion for agriculture and complete his BA in arts and sustainability from Goddard College. There he discovered a passion for music through hip hop. Donovan's creative and productive mindset, as well as his knack for collaboration, inspired him and his closest friends to create what is now known as, "The Flood Farm Garden and Arts Collective", during his final year as his final thesis study. He continues to use the collective platform for creative projects today. Over the past year Donovan has worked as a science teacher for middle schoolers in Brooklyn, NY. He values and respects the importance of sustainable education and inclusion, through collaboration and teaching. 

Vanessa Niro

Lead Preschool Teacher

Arboretum Location

Vanessa has been teaching in the early childhood field since 2013, holds an M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from UMass Boston, and most recently worked at a nature-based parent cooperative school in the Boston area. She has experience working in public, private, and Head Start centers in roles including teaching (infants, toddlers, and preschoolers), mentoring, and coaching. In the evenings, she works as a workshop facilitator and coach for StrongStart, the state professional development network, where she supports educators and early childhood programs to incorporate more outdoor learning. 

Along with nature-based learning, Vanessa is passionate about using mindfulness with young children to support social-emotional development, emergent curriculum, and reflecting on anti-bias practices in her daily work. Vanessa enjoys integrating her hobbies of art and music each day with children. She is very excited to continue to grow as an educator at BOPN!

Alexandra Reilinger

Preschool Teacher

 Arboretum Location

Alie grew up in Boston just a few blocks from the Arboretum and has spent many happy hours there walking her dog, biking up Bussey hill, and reading among the conifers. Once learning that there was a preschool program based in this magical place, Alie knew she had to be involved! Alie has a passion for education as well as the environment, and so teaching at BOPN is the perfect mix of the two.

 

Alie is excited to give children the curiosity and wonder-driven early education they deserve. With a very strong natural biology background as well as a personal love for the outdoors, Alie is excited about using her own passion to inspire children.

 

Most recently Alie taught a farm-based environmental and food justice program in Poughkeepsie, NY, bringing students outside into the garden to learn about farming and fresh vegetables. She’s also worked as an educator at the New England Aquarium, done public outreach and fieldwork for Cape Cod National Seashore, and taught English and leadership skills to Japanese exchange students.  Alie received a BA in Biology from Vassar College.

Donovan Riley Robinson

Lead Preschool Teacher

Arboretum Location

Donovan is a sustainable educator born and raised in Western Mass. He graduated from Amherst Regional High School with multiple certificates of excellence both as a student and an athlete. In college Donovan left his athletic career behind in order to focus on his passion for agriculture and complete his BA in arts and sustainability from Goddard College. There he discovered a passion for music through hip hop. Donovan's creative and productive mindset, as well as his knack for collaboration, inspired him and his closest friends to create what is now known as, "The Flood Farm Garden and Arts Collective", during his final year as his final thesis study. He continues to use the collective platform for creative projects today.  Last year Donovan worked as a Lead Preschool Teacher and Science Teacher for elementary and middle school students in Brooklyn, NY. He values and respects the importance of sustainable education and inclusion, through collaboration and teaching. 

Chelsea Shepherd
Lead Preschool Teacher & Business Manager
Wellesley Program

Chelsea grew up in upstate New York, spending summers in the Adirondacks. While nature was always a huge part of her life, it was on annual trips to Cape Cod that she found her passion for Environmental Education. 

 

Chelsea went to Stonehill College, where she majored in Environmental Science with a focus on Marine Science and minored in business. After graduating in 2014, Chelsea moved to Boston and spent the past six years working at the New England Aquarium. As a Program Education Specialist, she educated the public about marine life.  Some days she traveled to schools throughout New England to provide hands-on experiences with marine life.  Other days she taught Sea Squirts, a parent-child program for children ages 2-4.  She also worked with local schools to design outdoor field experiences full of hands-on exploration.  Teaching these programs gave Chelsea a passion for early education and the importance of student-led exploration in nature.

 

In December of 2019 Chelsea received her Masters of Teaching in Conservation Biology from Miami University. Through this program she studied inquiry-based teaching, community-based conservation, and environmental stewardship.  She traveled to Belize to study manatee, tapir, yellow-headed parrot, and coral conservation, Australia to study the Great Barrier reef, and Paraguay to immerse herself in a community working on Environmental Education and Eco-Leadership. Chelsea is excited to join BOPN and explore local nature with the children!

Erin Acosta

Preschool Teacher

Wellesley Program

For as long as she can remember, Erin has always loved being outside.  Her earliest memories are of spending hours examining insects and plants in her backyard, going on long hikes with her family, and raising butterflies and tadpoles.  Her love for being outside coincides with her love of working with children as she believes childhood should be spent with nature and that children's natural curiosity for the world around them should be encouraged to its fullest extent. She firmly believes that a strong respect for all living things is a critical aspect of early education. 

 

Erin has spent the last few years of her life working with children in many different capacities--as a babysitter, a club leader, and a caregiver at a Lifetime Fitness’ Kids Academy.  A recent graduate of Newton South High School, Erin intends to further her education in Fall 2021 at the University of Vermont, where she hopes to pursue a degree in Anthropology.

Emily Ducey

Lead Summer Program Teacher

Wellesley Program

Emily’s fondest memories are those she has made outside. She grew up on a dead-end with a small forested area and spent hours making forts, swinging on a tire swing, and tiptoeing on unstable rocks across the brook. Emily has always had a passion for teaching and fell in love immediately with the field that combines her two most cherished ways to spend her time.

 

Emily graduated in 2020 with a B.S. in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Champlain College in lovely Burlington, Vermont with a dream to foster a love and care for nature in youth. She taught at Sustainability Academy, an area school, in their after-school program leading groups like “Outdoor  Explorers” and “Community Helpers.” In these groups she made efforts to connect children in the city with the natural surroundings available in walking distance from the school. Emily believes that to protect the earth, we must give children the time and space to fall in love with it.

 

Now Emily teaches preschool during the 3-season school year in a completely outdoor setting, and just can’t get enough! She is a fearless advocate for play and play-based learning throughout early childhood. In her free time, she hikes, swims, gardens, learns guitar, and crafts learning tools for her students. She is so excited to be joining BOPN’s team as a lead preschool teacher for the summer!”

Board of Directors

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Chris Novak

Chris brings her experience fueling great teams doing ground-breaking work for leading brands, companies, universities and non-profits. She’s led top-level strategy, branding and communications for clients ranging from AT&T to Harvard University to the start-up of NPR’s StoryCorps.
Chris has an MBA from Harvard and a BA from Yale.

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Bill Brinkman

Bill has spent his career building, investing in, and advising businesses.  He currently works at a healthcare start-up.  In his free time Bill enjoys hiking, fishing, and grilling.

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Hannah Sheridan

Hannah's passion is working with young children in creative, educational, and therapeutic ways.  She believes a child’s development, potential, and understanding of the world is driven by natural curiosity, built upon by exploration and experience, and unleashed through unhindered creativity. She explores this earth with an open mind, a caring heart, and sense of adventure. 

Advisors

  • Susan Chlebowski, Montessorian and expert in nature-based early ed

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Chris Suppe

Lead Preschool Teacher

Arboretum Location

Chris grew up in Connecticut and  graduated in 2006 from Anna Maria College with a B.A. in Humanities and Theatre Arts.  Shortly after moving to Beantown, they started working with kids at Operation PEACE in Dorchester.  That really lit a fire deep within their soul to keep pursuing youth development!

Chris has worked as an Afterschool Teacher for the Roslindale Community Center, an Assistant Director for the YMCA at the Haley Pilot School, and a Summer Camp Teacher for the Hennigan Community Center in JP.  In addition to teaching at BOPN, they works at Angier Afterschool Program in Newton.  Chris is very passionate about connecting children with nature!

 

When not working with kids, Chris enjoys canoeing, kayaking, hiking, reading (especially books by Jon Krakauer), doing karaoke, and hanging out with friends and puppies!

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Teri Torchia
Lead Preschool Teacher & Internship Program Manager
Arboretum Location

Teri grew up near Boston and spent her early years exploring the vast forest in her backyard, where she spent hours discovering flora and fauna and engaging in imaginative play with friends. It was magical! This planted the seed for a lifelong interest in and passion for nature.  As a teacher, Teri is committed to sharing her passion with her young students and learning along with them. She hopes to nurture the same love and respect she has for the natural world and our planet.


Teri believes firmly in the importance of play and child-centered learning. As a constructivist teacher, she has always advocated for inquiry-based learning. With a deep respect for each child as a unique individual, she aims to allow them to pursue their interests and to support them in developing important skills along the way.
Teri has many years of experience as an early childhood educator in diverse settings and in a variety of roles including classroom teacher, early childhood coach, curriculum developer, and preschool director.

 

She holds a B.A.in Elementary Education and Psychology from the University of Lowell, and an M.Ed. in Child Study from Tufts University. She is licensed as an Early Childhood Teacher and an Elementary Teacher and has worked for public schools in Medford, Cambridge, Boston and Chelsea. She also taught in Oxford, England for four years, where outdoor learning is highly valued and where she and her daughter participated in Forest Schools.


Teri lives with her husband, daughter, two dogs and a cat. In her free time she likes to travel, ski, and swim in the ocean.

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Jenna Baker
Lead Toddler Teacher
Wellesley Location

Jenna grew up near Ithaca, NY.  Her love of nature started in her wooded back yard and on visits to local gorges and waterfalls.  This love of nature pushed her to attend Lycoming College, where she received her bachelors degree in Biology with a concentration in Ecology. At Lycoming she participated in the Clean Water Institute, which furthered her love for hands-on conservation learning.  After college she earned a Master of Science in Environmental Conservation from UMass Amherst.
 

Jenna then moved to Kansas City, MO, where she started her career in early education.  She taught at the Berkley Family and Child Center at the University of Missouri, where she enjoyed learning about the Reggio Emilia approach.  She then moved to Boston and has worked as an Infant Teacher at Bright
Horizons ever since.


Jenna is very excited to combine her backgrounds in environmental conservation and early
childhood education as a Lead Toddler Teacher at BOPN!

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Jonathan Sit
Summer Program Floater
Arb/Wellesley Location

Jonathan is a middle school science teacher with a passion for adventures and the outdoors. He graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Biology and a M.A.T. in Secondary Science Education with a focus on inquiry-based learning and social justice in the classroom. Jonathan’s love for the outdoors started when he received a scholarship to attend an Outward Bound trip in high school. Since then, he has been involved in leading backpacking trips with kids of all ages.


When Jonathan is not instilling his love for science to his students during the school year, he can be found traveling around the world. His most recent adventures include solo backpacking through Europe and Asia and road tripping across the US.

Jonathan is excited to share his love for outdoor adventures with the children at BOPN this summer!

Jason Gutu

Director of Nature Connections

Most recently, Jason was a stay-at-home dad with his toddler son. Before leaving work, he built 13 years of experience mentoring youth of all ages in the outdoors. Jason first discovered his talent for youth development in South Africa where he worked for Restless Development in 2008, and volunteered at the Homeless Children’s World Cup in Durban in 2010. Returning to the United States, he worked with young adults with autism on a farm in New Hampshire, guided expeditions for at-risk teenagers at Summit Achievement in Maine, ski patrolled as a Wilderness EMT at Attitash, and apprenticed at a primitive living skills school focused on nature mentoring. He moved to Boston in 2014 and spent six years at COMPASS providing in-home services for families involved with the Department of Children and Families. He created an outdoors program for those families, and the COMPASS alternative school serving students from  elementary through high school, and beyond.

 

Jason received a Bachelor’s degree from UMass Boston in Health and Human Behavior, a self-developed major, which studies a wider, nature-based perspective of development and families. He is also trained in trauma-informed care and participated in the year-long Massachusetts Child Trauma Project in 2016. 

Emily O'Keefe

Lead Preschool Teacher

Arboretum Location

Emily grew up exploring the woods of Southeastern Massachusetts: building forts, making mud pies, and climbing trees. She loves sharing her curiosity and wonder about the natural world with children and is committed to supporting learners in an environment that honors play, discovery, and community. 

 

Emily is a graduate student at Antioch University, pursuing a Master’s degree in nature-based early childhood education. She has experience working with young people in a variety of ways, including as a farm-based educator, youth mentor, nanny, substitute teacher, and ESL teacher in Korea. She has a B.A. in Philosophy and Spanish from Suffolk University. 

 

In her free time, Emily is involved in climate-justice organizing and loves to read, explore new places on her bicycle, and experiment in the kitchen.

Julia Sappenfield

Lead Preschool Teacher

Wellesley Location

Growing up outside Hamburg, Germany, many of Julia's happiest memories were of being outside.  She spent her days running around with the neighbor kids inventing games, playing in the mud, or building things with wood.  They would throw sticks into a nearby stream to see which one went the fastest. Being outside made her who she is, teaching her fair play, independence, cooperation and imagination.
 
As a lead preschool teacher for three years at the German International School of
Boston, Julia saw the same things. When the children were outside, they were completely different – more active, more open to discovery, more relaxed, curious, and excited.  That’s why she joined Boston Outdoor Preschool Network. After years spent in other fields – hospitality, event management, and coordinating au pairs from all over the world – she had her own kids and loved playing with them. Whether it’s arts and crafts, singing, or just being silly, it felt meaningful. Now they’re older – and she still hasn’t grown
up!
 
Julia believes that children always have something to say if you give them a chance and listen. They’re geniuses, and comedians, and amazing problem-solvers. Combining all these things at BOPN is the fulfillment of her life’s work – and also just the beginning.  She looks forward to each day, learning from the children and watching them grow in nature, where they can find out who they are and see firsthand the remarkable world they’re inheriting.

Olivia Agosti

Lead Preschool Teacher

Arboretum Location

Growing up in rural Pennsylvania with woods and water as her playground, Olivia grew to love the outdoors.  She first fell in love with nature-based early childhood education at Buffalo Valley Recreation Authority Nature School, where she learned about Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and Waldorf pedagogies.  This experience was life-changing as Olivia knew she had found her true path, and like the children she was observing, she felt empowered to learn and do more.  


Through her experiences as an early childhood educator and a nanny, Olivia
notices that when children are offered the opportunity to participate in child-led play, their imaginations wander in the best ways, and they see the world in ways that adults often forget. In this environment of child-directed play and learning, children develop a sense of agency and independence. She sees this as the essential experience of childhood, for it nurtures a child’s curiosity, joy and desire to learn.  Olivia believes that small humans are capable of really big things, and that
children are so much more creative, capable and resilient than adults give them credit for. Her passion for children and the pedagogies that best support their development have given her a desire to support children to explore and experience the natural world within a safe and encouraging environment while learning in their own ways.

Most recently, Olivia was the Activities and Program Coordinator at Lewisberg Children's Museum.  She is excited to move to Boston and start a new chapter at BOPN!

Joi Walker

Full-day Toddler and Preschool Director

Wellesley location

Joi is an experienced early educator who started her career 10 years ago as an assistant teacher. Since then she has held numerous leadership positions in the field, most recently as Program Education Coordinator at Bright Horizons. During her time there Joi  was responsible for designing and implementing a robust early childhood program and for mentoring teachers.  From the start of her career, Joi has demonstrated a deep commitment to her students and their families.  Joi’s style of teaching is inspired by the Montessori method; she believes the environment plays a key role in fostering independence and supporting the whole child. Her dedication to the field led her to receive Director I and Director II certifications.

 

Joi’s love for nature started in her hometown of Framingham, MA, home of the beautiful woodland botanical garden “Garden in the Woods.”  Joi visited the garden frequently with her family throughout her childhood, entranced by the hundreds of plant species.  She is excited to  provide children with that same wonder and happiness she experienced in nature  as a child. In her free time Joi enjoys painting and walking with her dog, Rosco!

Samantha Lewis

Lead Preschool Teacher

Arboretum Location

Sammy has enjoyed working in the field of outdoor education ever since graduating from college with a History degree in 2015.  After teaching outdoor education in the Berkshires she headed to New Zealand, where she developed social-emotional programming at a camp outside of Aukland.  After returning to the Berkshires she taught ice skating and rock climbing.

 

Sammy eventually became the Assistant Director of Happy Camp, a cultural exchange program designed for children from China to experience American summer camp.  She worked with this cultural exchange program for three summers, one of which was spent in China working with resorts to develop their own American-style summer camps. 

Eager to keep exploring, Sammy then taught skiing to children ages 3-6 in Colorado.  After the snow melted, she became Assistant Director of a unique program, run jointly by the Denver YMCA and International Rescue Committee, to offer summer camp to children of refugees.

 

Most recently, Sammy was Assistant Program Coordinator at the Berkshire Outdoor Center, where she worked with schools to create individualized programming to meet the social-emotional and academic needs of their students throught outdoor ed.  Sammy is extremely excited to be back in the Boston area and is especially excited for a New England autumn!  

Ellen Houle

Lead Preschool Teacher

Wellesley Program

Ellen has 15 years of experience working in the Early Childhood Education field as
both an educator and as an administrator in Virginia. Ellen grew up in the greater
Boston area then graduated college from Goucher College in Baltimore Maryland
with a Bachelor’s degree in Developmental Psychology and an emphasis in Studio Art. 

 

She moved to Charlottesville, Virginia after college and took a job with Westminster
Child Care Center. Over her 14 years tenure there, she worked to build and head the Reggio Emilia project work inspired curriculum for the infant, 2s, 3s, 4s, and Pre-K classrooms. In 2002, she developed a 12-week summer program that was a Reggio inspired outdoor program for all graduating Kindergarteners. As the program developed, the children were able to take daily outdoor adventures in and around Charlottesville.  Over the years she trained teachers in the Reggio inspired
curriculum, then was promoted to the administration in 2010. Ellen spent the next 6 years as an Administrator of Early Education programs and then as their
Executive Director. Her background in Early Childhood inspired her to develop the first outdoor classroom in Charlottesville. All the materials for the outdoor classroom were donated from local friends, neighbors and businesses to help develop the child-centered environment for all ages. She also served as a board member for the local NAEYC chapter, CVAEYC, for 6 years. 

Ellen has a great love of nature; spending most of her last six years working on small family owned vineyard learning about viticulture and vinifera. She enjoys her free time working in her garden, running marathons, and hiking with her boyfriend Jonathan and their dog Colt.

Charlie Mahaffie
Lead Preschool Teacher
Wellesley Program

Charlie grew up in NW Washington D.C. As a child he would spend hours running through the forests of Rock Creek Park, biking along the C&O Canal and Potomac River, and learning about flora
and fauna while hiking all over the country with his parents and older brother.  Since nature was such an important and influential part of his childhood, he is thrilled to participate in opportunities
for more children to immerse themselves in an outdoor educational environment.


Charlie discovered his interest in teaching and environmental education while attending Eckerd College on the Gulf Coast of Florida. While earning a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies, he had the opportunity to experience and lead outdoor and interest-based educational events at a local nature preserve.  Charlie also worked with several school groups in Puerto Rico while volunteering at a permaculture farm in Las Marias. Since then, outdoor education has become a passion, motivating him to learn more about the field as his love for it grows more with each day.


While he is still new to the Boston area, Charlie has loved getting to know the city and surrounding areas while teaching at BOPN's summer program at the arboretum.  Outside of work, 
Charlie enjoys biking, paddle boarding, hiking, and exploring natural spaces across Massachusetts.

Jason Goldman
Substitute Preschool Teacher
Wellesley and Arb Programs

Jason's love of nature stems from spending summers at sleep away camp in the Adirondacks. Jason spent most of their childhood summers swimming, camping, hiking, and boating in and around Chateaugay lake in beautiful northern New York. Their passion for early childhood education began with giving swim lessons at a summer day camp in their hometown of New Rochelle, NY. Jason loved helping the children learn an essential life skill, and also had the opportunity to lead the camp in cheers and games in the morning to help them acclimate to the day. 

 

Jason graduated from Vassar College in 2018 with degrees in Sociology and German Studies. They spent their first year out of school completing a Fulbright scholarship teaching English in a small, rural town in southern Germany. Jason moved to Jamaica Plain in the fall of 2019 to  work at the German International School as a preschool teacher. They love living in a city and having a backyard and so many beautiful parks just minutes away. 

 

Outside of work, Jason enjoys singing and playing piano, reading, and traveling. They are so excited to have the opportunity to teach children through nature. 

Jenny Park
Lead Summer Teacher
Arb Program

Jenny was born in South Korea and grew up in the United States. She lived in California then attended Syracuse University in Upstate New York and received a Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Studies. Afterwards, she got married to her college sweetheart and moved to
Massachusetts in 2018. Currently, she attends Boston University’s Graduate School of
Education at Wheelock College of Education and Human Development to earn her Master’s in Early Childhood Education. 

 

One of Jenny’s best and treasurable early childhood memories is when she lived in Suriname, South America for a year. She would hop into puddles and seek for the vibrant and beautiful rainbow after the rain, swim in the Cola Creek which was naturally the color of coke hence the name, watched fish swim down the river, played with baby lizards that appeared in the house every night, and observed how different fruits such as bananas, cherries, pumpkins, and star fruits (they’re delicious) grow! These were the memories she could never replace or substitute
with any form of toy or current technology.

 

Jenny believes children learn best through play especially when they lead their own learning journey. Children can learn so much through play and are highly capable, and in play, it is as though children were a head taller than themselves, as the notable psychologist Lev Vygotsky put it.
 

Jenny has experience working at a Head Start program in upstate New York, teaching as a Lead
Preschool Teacher at Bright Horizons, and volunteering for different education programs
teaching Korean, English, computing, and art. Jenny is truly excited to meet the BOPN children and the families and make great memories during the summer!

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