We are excited to introduce you to our Cooperative Nature School education team!
- 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!