We are excited to introduce you to our Cooperative Nature School education team!
- Abigail Marsters, Executive Director, Director II certified
- Barbara Simons, Lead Teacher, DII Certified
Barbara is one of our Lead Teachers at the Cooperative Nature School. She is DII certified and has a BA from the College of the Holy Cross and a Masters in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Adelphi University. She has been working with young children and in the field of early education since 1991. Barbara has worked in varying roles as Assistant Director, Director, Special Needs Coordinator, and teacher. She has worked in public and private schools on both the early childhood and elementary level and has previously worked at a Cooperative School in Newton. Barbara has been very excited by and invested in the idea of creating a nature school in Sharon. Her creativity and compassion are strengths and we look forward to her teaming with Keeli Cullen this year.
- Keeli Cullen, Lead Teacher, DI Certified
Keeli graduated from Green Mountain College with a B.S. in Elementary Education. A passionate and dedicated early childhood professional, Keeli has worked in the field of early education since 1989. Keeli has worked in the role of Preschool Classroom Teacher, GeoRanger Classroom Lead Teacher-(summer camp), Preschool Classroom Lead Teacher, Kindergarten Prep Classroom Lead Teacher, and Education Coordinator. Keeli’s professional experience has also included being a facilitator for Everyday Math, Caring Matters and Growing Up Wild. As a teacher Keeli recognizes the importance of building relationships with children and their families. Focusing on their varied interests and educational needs as they grow and learn together. Keeli believes in creating a classroom atmosphere where children can create, explore, and foster their independence through hands on projects and activities. Taking the children outside to explore the natural world has always been an integral part of Keeli’s classroom curriculum. Keeli is very excited to join the Cooperative Nature School Team!
- Maura O’Gara, Engagement Manager, The Trustees
Starting in 2017 Maura has been the Engagement Manager for The Trustees fulfilling their mission to protect for public use and enjoyment properties of scenic, historic, and ecological value. She manages all aspects of the visitor experience, enhances visitor experience through programs, events, activities, and interpretive materials, grows visitation and program participation with outreach and development of partnerships, implements new events and programs, engages with visitors and new audiences and develops and strengthens relationships with local community groups, municipal entities, and media. Maura has a B.A. in Earth and Environmental Sciences, Summa Cum Laude (2008) University of Massachusetts; Boston, MA as well as an M.A. in Literary Studies, with Distinction (1997) University of Cape Town; Cape Town, South Africa and a B.A. English (1991) from the College of the Holy Cross; Worcester, MA. Maura has organized and led: Nature programs for Mass Audubon and Quincy Environmental Treasures, Nature and sustainability after-school programs for local elementary school, Environmental information events (Quincy Environmental Network), Guided kayak tours (Neponset River Watershed Association)and Group bicycle rides (QuinCycles). We are excited to be working with such a talented and experienced naturalist!
- Margaux Tudor
Margaux attended college at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. Her first teaching job was at a pre-school practicing the Reggio Amelia philosophy in Berkeley, Ca. She adopted their cutting-edge teaching style and incorporated it into her own non-bias, ‘Nature-Based’ Family Child Care Program for toddlers and preschoolers in Sharon, Ma, called, The Pine Tree School. Their days were spent outside exploring, trail blazing through the forest, or swimming at the lake.
Margaux sincerely and strongly believes – no matter what age or how one learns – everyone and especially children need to be outdoors in Nature. Environmental education during early childhood develops a child’s lifelong connection with the natural world. Children are fully capable of interpreting their world if they are given the right opportunity. Freedom to explore a natural environment gives individuals a perfect platform for inquiry and discovery, as well as artistic expression. The use of natural materials is proven to increase the quality of a child’s learning experience. The innate perfection found in nature that is unparalleled by human creations are the best building blocks for development minds. With these building blocks children are allowed to construct: Art, Language Art, Geometry, Science, and Social & Emotional Development.
Margaux is excited to be a part of The Cooperative Nature School which she feels passionately about and shares the same teaching philosophies with.
- Ashita Parikh, Lead Teacher and Administrator
Ashita Parikh has a degree in Accounting from The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (India) and further study in Early Childhood Education. She is Director II certified by the State of Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care. Ashita’s professional experience includes 15 years of teaching. She is married and has 2 children. She is a caring educator who believes that all children can learn and thrive in an exploratory environment that is stimulating and appropriate to children’s developing abilities. Children make her feel happy and young.
Ashita believes in establishing one community within itself that recognizes and celebrates the diversity of the children and families that it serves, and by making connections amongst these families to the community at large.
Ashita’s goal is to continue and grow the wonderful program that has been established here at the preschool. I look forward to meeting all of our parents and spending time each day getting to know your children.
Ashita enjoys photography, music, gardening and cooking during her spare time.
How to reach us: (781) 806-6156 or firstname.lastname@example.org