Amy Butler is the teaching assistant for the Risk Management for Early Childhood in the NbEC Certificate program at Antioch New England. She is the Director of Education at North Branch Nature Center, Montpelier, VT and has been connecting adults and children with the natural world for more than 20 years. She founded Vermont’s first forest preschool and has nurtured its growth to serve the needs of local children and their families. In 2010, Amy founded ECO (Educating Children Outdoors), a standards-based nature immersion program that serves nine public schools in the central Vermont area. Each week Amy and her team facilitate outdoor learning with students and support teachers in extending their classrooms into the outdoors.
Ellen Doris directs the Nature-based Early Childhood Certificate program at Antioch New England. She teaches the Natural History for Early Childhood course and has taught Working with Parents and Communities. Her bachelor’s degree is from Cornell and her EdD is from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. Ellen has served as an early childhood and elementary teacher and administrator, consultant, and museum and outdoor educator. Her books include Doing What Scientists Do, a landmark book in science education for the early grades, Life at the Top: Discoveries in a Tropical Forest Canopy and the Real Kids, Real Science books series which includes Woods, Ponds and Fields, Entomology, Meet the Arthropods and others.
Susan Dreyer-Leon, EdD, Director, Experienced Educators’ Program at Antioch University New England; former alternative public high school teacher/leader in New York City and Vermont; School Reform Initiative National Facilitator; experienced Coalition of Essential Schools teacher and leader. Special interests include the development and support of equitable, democratic and joyful schools, mindfulness and education, facilitative leadership, and sustainable and place-based educational practices.
Liza Lowe teaches the Working with Families and Communities course in the NbEC Certificate program at Antioch New England. She earned her BA in Environmental Studies and Psychology from the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University in Minnesota and received her teaching certificate and MEd in Early Childhood Education with an Environmental Education concentration from Antioch University New England. For over ten years Liza taught children of all ages through outdoor, environmental education in Maryland, Michigan, and Vermont before founding Wild Roots Nature School, a nature-based preschool/kindergarten in New Hampshire in 2013. In 2016 she was awarded the Environmental Educator of the Year award. Liza enjoys supporting teachers in the important work of engaging children with nature and outdoor learning.
Eliza Minnucci teaches the Nature-based Early Childhood Curriculum course in the NbEC Certificate program at Antioch New England. She was raised in Deerfield, New Hampshire and now makes her home in Tunbridge, Vermont with her husband, Keith and two sons. Before teaching kindergarten in Quechee, Vermont, she taught young children in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, Chicago, Seattle and Fort Yukon, Alaska. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago, teacher certification from the Upper Valley Educators Institute and a master’s degree from New England College. On hiatus from the classroom, she supports teachers in cultivating nature-based play and learning for their students through her Forest Kinder consulting program. She is the co-author of A Forest Days Handbook: Program Design for School Days Outside. She loves snow-rollers, jack-in-the-pulpits and indigo buntings.
David Sobel is the founder of the Nature-based Early Childhood Certificate program at Antioch New England. He consults and speaks widely on child development and place-based education with schools, environmental organizations and the National Park Service. He has authored eight books and more than 70 articles focused on children and nature for educators, parents, environmentalists and school administrators. Titles include Beyond Ecophobia, Place-based Education, Childhood and Nature: Design Principles for Educators, and Nature Preschools and Forest Kindergartens. He was recognized as one of the Daring Dozen educational leaders in the United States in 2007 by Edutopia magazine. He lives in the Monadnock Region of southwestern New Hampshire and is committed to cold water swimming, the exploration of landscape nooks and crannies and to joyfully embracing the gift of life on earth.
Anne Stires teachers the Risk Management for Early Childhood and Teaching in Winter courses in the NbEC Certificate program at Antioch New England. She is the founder and director of the unique Juniper Hill School for Place-based Education, in Alna, Maine. Anne has a bachelor’s degree in Biology and English from Hamilton College in New York and a master’s degree in Education from Antioch University New England. While pursuing her education, she worked at local marine and environmental stewardship programs: the Darling Marine Center, Chewonki Foundation and Tanglewood Learning Center. Anne is one of the contributing authors to Nature Preschools and Forest Kindergartens: The Handbook for Outdoor Learning. In addition to being the school director of Juniper Hill she now teaches and consults with schools across the country.
Meghan Teachout was raised in the suburbs of New York City and now is settled in Strafford, Vermont with her husband, Cabot and their three children. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont and completed teacher training at the Upper Valley Educators Institute. With Eliza, she co-founded the Forest Day program at the Ottauquechee School in 2013. She now supports teachers in cultivating nature-based routines by team-teaching, and leading professional learning communities. She is the co-author of A Forest Days Handbook: Program Design for School Days Outside. She loves spring ephemerals, cloud watching and snowflake shapes.