Year joined Stella Faculty:
During my 19 years as a teacher, I have worked with a wide range of students, from elementary to graduate students, and taught in a variety of settings, from the classroom to the middle of the Everglades. The main focus of my past teaching experience was the sciences: biology, environmental science, ecology, and earth science. I have been an outdoor and nature enthusiast since a very young age. I enjoy spending time outdoors backpacking, camping, hiking, gardening, kayaking, and snorkeling. I am very happy to combine my love of nature, science and all things outdoors and to share my experience with our students, their families, faculty, and staff at Stella Niagara Education Park.
The foundation of my teaching philosophy is the firm belief that students gain knowledge and understanding through actual experience and making personal connections with the curriculum. Students at Stella Niagara experience nature and the outdoors while building connections to the curriculum taught in ELA, foriegn lanuage, math, sciences, social studies, art, and music. It is the hands-on, minds-on, and hearts-on approach to learning and teaching
Describe what students will learn in your class:
The goal of outdoor education at Stella Niagara is to help all students, Montessori Pre-School thru Grade 8, embrace the outdoor environment for learning, play, and work, so as to develop the whole person in the spirit of Franciscan values. The students do this through outdoor recreation activities and making connections between what they learn in the classroom to what they experience outside in nature.
For example: our students learn through outdoor experiences in the school garden. They are active in planting, tending, harvesting and even eating the crops. Our students learn through exploring and observing their “neighbors” on the nature trail, in vernal pool, and at the Stella Niagara Preserve. They investigate water quality, leaf chromotography, the water cycle, animal adaptions, and food webs through owl pellet dissection. Our students quantify and calculate snowfall, trees height and circumference, and also investigate patterns such as fractals.
When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe. – John Muir