Office of the CEO

 

Jeanne McCarty

Chief Executive Officer

Jeanne McCarty is the CEO of Out Teach, a national education nonprofit working to ensure that all students, no matter their resources, have access to an engaging, hands-on education that transforms their lives. With thirty years of experience in the field of education, Jeanne serves as a thought leader in reimaging learning in schools to promote real-world, experiential learning that improves academic, social, and emotional development. She publishes articles on the topic for academic journals, speaks at conferences, and oversees the creation of extensive teacher support resources.

Jeanne has been leading the national expansion of Out Teach for more than 10 years. Prior to joining the organization, Jeanne spent eight years as vice president and director of the Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots & Shoots program, a global youth service program focused on conservation. In this position, she helped fulfill Dr. Jane Goodall’s dream of creating a powerful force for positive change: a network of young people in communities all around the world empowered to make a difference. Her interest in service-learning began while she was director of Undergraduate Programs for the Department of African American Studies at the University of Maryland.

Jeanne is active in several national and international initiatives to connect children and families to nature and to promote youth leadership in conservation. She has delivered presentations throughout the United States as well as in Tanzania, Russia, Singapore, Malaysia and South Africa.Jeanne holds an M.A. in American Studies from the University of Maryland and a B.A. in American Studies, Summa Cum Laude, from the University of Southern Mississippi.

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Brielle Siskin

Director of Innovation

As the Director of Innovation, Brielle leads strategic projects focused on deepening Out Teach’s impact by using technology to prepare, develop and support learning for teachers and students. Prior to Out Teach, Brielle worked in the education space for the past decade. Most recently, she worked at LEAP Innovations leading their education technology partnership strategy and working closely with edtech companies and schools that piloted their products. In addition, Brielle worked on the launch of an educator-facing online training tool, providing strategy, operations, and project management support. Brielle also supported a variety of pilot initiatives and efforts around personalized learning.

Prior to LEAP, Brielle served as the Associate Director of Restorative Justice and the Lead of Coaching and Consulting at NewRoot Learning. Her efforts focused on training, coaching and consulting around restorative justice and social emotional learning for educators and school leaders. Brielle also supported efforts around program strategy and evaluation.

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Helen Li

Executive Project Associate, Office of the CEO

Helen Li is the Executive Project Associate at Out Teach. With extensive experience in supporting daily operational and administrative functions she’s supported and equipped C-level executives and Boards of Directors across a range of industries around the world, including banking, manufacturing, and nonprofit organizations throughout Asia, Canada, and the United States. Helen holds a Master of Management degree from the University of Windsor in Canada. Beyond her professional career, Helen enjoys playing with her kids, exercising, and painting.

 

Programs

Scott Feille

Vice President, Programs

Before joining Out Teach to lead its flagship program in Fort Worth, Texas, Scott Feille taught at Westcliff Elementary for eight years. First working with special education classes and then with fifth-graders, he not only became the school’s lead science teacher but also a lead science curriculum writer for the Fort Worth Independent School District Frameworks program.

In 2006, he received the Lockheed Martin Teaching Chair of Excellence Award in Elementary Science. Scott holds a B.A. in Philosophy and Political Science, magna cum laude, from Texas Christian University and is a Texas Master Naturalist.

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Joaquina Scott Kankam, Ph.D.

Manager, Program Evaluation and Learning

Joaquina Scott Kankam, Ph.D. is the Manager of Program Evaluation and Learning at Out Teach. With almost 20 years of experience in various education sectors, she now assists with improving teacher and student performance.

Joaquina holds a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Evaluation and Auditing. For her dissertation research study, Joaquina developed and validated a rubric to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of college access programs.

Before joining Out Teach, Joaquina worked in both K-12 and higher education. She also worked for several years to develop and lead educational evaluation plans designed to assist youth-serving organizations with measuring their accomplishments. Joaquina is also the Chair of the College Access Programs Topical Interest Group of the American Evaluation Association.

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Carla Frazier-Bah

Program Coordinator

After working in higher education for 20 years, Carla is pivoting to work with Out Teach to support the nation’s youngest students. Carla holds degrees in business administration and student success and leadership from Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, GA and has a strong track record of developing and coordinating programs, in addition to delivering training. In addition to focusing on the students themselves, she also initiated and developed a program to train and support parents of first-generation students for a successful college experience. She has also earned a certificate in project management.

Teena Hine

Director, Professional Learning

As the Director of Professional Learning, Teena facilitates training and development in program implementations for Out Teach. Prior to joining Out Teach, she worked in education for 20 years, and has held the roles of Elementary Educator, Interventionist, Instructional Coach, and WV State Technology Coordinator. As a presenter for local and national organizations, she has provided experiential outdoor learning trainings for educators across the country. She is passionate about ensuring students are balancing “screen time” with “green time”, infused with standards aligned outdoor science instruction.

In 2021, Teena was recognized by Digital Promise as 1 of 25 educational professionals in North America advancing the use of the Powerful Learning Principals. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education for California University of Pennsylvania, a Master’s Degree in Reading and Literacy from Walden University, and a certification of Administration and Leadership from Marshall University. She is also a certified Technology Integration Specialist and Special Educator. In addition to her work, Teena has been a local and state level Science Fair Coordinator, a Curriculum Writer for NGSS aligned resources, served as an Ambassador to the USA Science and Engineering Festival, and the WV State Google For Education Leader.

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Allie Graybeal

Instructional Coach

Before joining Out Teach, Allie worked as a 5th grade teacher in Title 1 schools for eight years where she created engaging science lessons, coordinated school-wide science events, and coached VEX Robotics.

As a county curriculum writer, Allie has created and revised science curriculum documents and resources supplied to all elementary teachers that were adapted to state essential standards. Allie lead district professional development and served as a model classroom for educators. She has been honored as a “Highly Effective” Math and Science educator in North Carolina’s teacher evaluation program.

In 2011, Allie earned a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in psychology from Appalachian State University. Since graduation, she has sought out and been selected for highly competitive local, national, and international professional development opportunities such as Discovery Place STEM Fellows, UNC Institute for the Environment EGRET Fellow, Mickelson Exxon Mobil Academy, and Honeywell Educators Space Academy.

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Jarri Goodman

Instructional Coach

Before joining the Out Teach community, Jarri worked as an elementary science teacher in a Title 1 school where he implemented engaging STEM activities, coordinated elementary science fairs, and served as his school co-science chair. Jarri served as his school lead student support teacher, coordinating and supervising the instructional support programs for the district.

As a school lead science teacher, he has created and implemented three-dimensional science assessments for grades K-5 and modeled interactive, engaging, and experimental science lessons. Jarri has been selected to present at various conferences and universities covering topics relating to classroom management and the Next Generations Science Standards.

In 2012, he earned a dual Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood/Special Education with a minor in general science from Mercer University. He received a Master degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Nova Southeastern University. Jarri has also obtained an Educational Specialist degree from Mercer University in Early Childhood Education with a concentration in Science Education, magna cum laude. Jarri continued to further his education by receiving educational endorsements in elementary science and cultural proficient instructional coaching.

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Wendy Kelly

Instructional Coach

As an Instructional Coach for Out Teach, Wendy develops and implements professional learning workshops at district and campus level, and creates standards-aligned lessons for our teachers in our Texas partner schools. To champion the importance of experiential outdoor Science instruction, she presents at national education conferences such as NSTA and ASCD, and leads district-level panels and presentations in Texas.

Wendy spent years working and traveling through South and Central America, Europe, and Australia, finally settling in Dallas, where she worked for AmeriCorps as a reading interventionist.

She then taught 5th grade at J.T. Saldivar Elementary as a Master science teacher. After ten years in the classroom, she worked as a curriculum specialist for DISD’s Science Department and served as a campus-based instructional coach at M.B. Henderson and David G. Burnet Elementary. Wendy is excited to help connect more children and teachers to the natural world as an instructional coach for Out Teach. She holds a B.A. in Education from San Diego State University and is currently working on a Master’s Degree in Teaching and Learning from Marygrove College.

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Jim Luft

Instructional Coach

Jim has 17 years of experience as a teacher, advisor, and coach within public and private schools in North Carolina and Virginia. He believes that building relationships with students and teachers directly correlates to student motivation, growth, and success.

As a K-8 educator, Jim has been at the forefront of creating innovative problem-based learning curriculum for his students and ensuring his approach is relevant to all students, regardless of their learning differences and modalities. In addition, Jim is passionate about incorporating social justice issues, service learning, and student engagement with the outdoors into his instruction.

Jim holds a Masters Degree in Education (Curriculum and Instruction) from George Mason University and was a founding faculty member of Samuel Tucker Elementary School in Alexandria, Virginia. He also taught at Trinity Episcopal School in Charlotte, NC for seven years and coached Middle School basketball. As founding faculty at Charlotte Lab School, Jim served as a Lead Quest Teacher and Advisor. Most recently, Jim worked as a field instructor with Muddy Sneakers, taking 5th graders on outdoor expeditions to connect with science curriculum and as a 5th grade science teacher at Movement School.

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Natalie Dhanoolal Rubio

Instructional Coach

In the role of Instructional Coach at Out Teach, I craft standards aligned lessons for teachers in Texas partner schools, develop and provide professional learning workshops for educators and coach educators through implementing experiential learning experiences.

Before joining Out Teach I worked in public education in Texas schools for sixteen years in the roles as classroom teacher and instructional coach. I taught at International Baccalaureate schools which embody inquiry-based learning and development of international-mindedness. I managed and coordinated the outdoor learning environment, facilitated and coordinated the campus wide STEAM events, implemented, crafted and implemented inquiry-based curriculum and provided professional development on a campus, district and national level.

I was awarded the WFAA Project Green Eco-Educator Award K-5th and Viewer’s Choice Award in 2017 for “leading, creating, and executing projects that educate students on green initiatives and improve the quality of the environment” for the outdoor learning environment at Newton Rayzor Elementary. I earned my BA from Barnard College, Columbia University in Pan-African Studies. I received my post-Baccalaureate certification in Education EC-4 from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. I hold a master’s degree in Horticulture from Texas Teach University. Recently, I earned a Principal Certification through the University of North Texas.

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Sarah Compher

Instructional Coach

As an Instructional Coach for the DC-Mid Atlantic Region, Sarah collaborates with teachers, administrators, and Out Teach staff to develop professional learning opportunities and create meaningful outdoor learning experiences. Additionally, she works with teachers to enhance their science instruction to ensure all students have access to rigorous and relevant science instruction.

Prior to joining the Out Teach community, Sarah spent ten years working at Title I schools in Northern Virginia in various classroom and leadership positions. During this time, she focused on improving math and science instruction through intentional and real-world experiences to increase student achievement.

Sarah attended the University of Central Florida where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with endorsements in ESOL and Reading. Since beginning her career, she has earned a graduate certificate in Gifted Education from the University of North Georgia and her Master’s degree in Integrative STEM Education Instruction and Curriculum from Virginia Tech.

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Michael Smith

Director, Outdoor Spaces

Michael Smith leads the Project Management team at Out Teach, designing and building engaging landscape features. He has over a decade of experience as design professional. He has worked on projects of various scales, including national monuments, large civic spaces and, his favorite, schools. He believes in the value of creating outdoor spaces that connect people with nature and promote a stronger understanding of ecology.

His interest in the natural and built environments grew out of childhood experiences in his Washington, DC neighborhood. Over time, this early fascination with the built environment developed into a passion to create meaningful spaces that inspire. Throughout his professional career Michael has worked to create his visions in ways that can connect us emotionally and improve our quality of life. Now, a steward of the urban realm, he continues to investigate the natural and artificial constructs that have the potential to augment regional and local infrastructures. His professional work advocates for social and environmentally responsible design.

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Marjorie Woodbury

Senior Project Manager

Marjorie collaborates with educators to imagine innovative outdoor learning spaces in MD, VA, and DC. She provides schools with landscape consultations and site planning services and leads landscape design-build projects tailored to learning objectives and community involvement. She is passionate about pollinator gardens and connecting humans with nature.

Growing up in the tidewater areas of the Chesapeake Bay, Marjorie was lucky to have teachers who were constantly taking her outside. Later, at Principia College she chose to major in Environmental Studies just so she could spend more time out of doors. Equally interested in science and art, she focused her studies on the connection between humans and nature through the mediums of choreography and film. She went on to receive a Master of Landscape Architecture at Auburn University and has spent the past ten years studying, teaching, and practicing in the field. Much of her collaborative work has been focused in DC, including the award-winning Duke Ellington School of the Arts historic renovation. Marjorie is also an adjunct assistant professor in the horticulture department at NOVA Community College where she teaches landscape design.

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Sammy Wren

Senior Project Associate

Sammy grew up in urban Oklahoma, joined the military, and traveled the world. When he returned to the U.S., Sammy dedicated himself to giving children experiential lessons through teaching in the garden and bringing the classroom outdoors, or sometimes bringing the outdoors in.

Before joining Out Teach, Sammy taught in Grand Prairie for 18 years. He also wrote science curriculum for the district and provided professional development with a concentration on utilizing the outdoors to enhance instruction. He has helped to install two such outdoor classrooms at Sally Moore Elementary and Robert E. Lee. Sammy won the Sadie Ray Graff Award for exceptional work in environmental education. He enjoys square foot gardening at home and traveling with his family.

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National Growth

Suzannah Koilpillai

Vice President, Partnerships & Growth

Suzannah leads the Out Teach Partnerships Team, building and developing best-in-class, integrated partnerships with corporations, school districts, and states that fuel Out Teach’s growth and achieve Out Teach’s intended impact. Suzannah works collaboratively and across functions to serve the mission of Out Teach, inform the business strategy of the organization, and build and maintain a high-performing business development and partnerships team that achieves Out Teach’s goals for growth.

Before she was tapped to lead Out Teach’s expansion into Atlanta and then the Partnerships Team, Suzannah spent 15 years in business development and building and leading national sales teams. Beginning her career in outside sales, she moved up the ranks, quadrupling new sales as a key account manager, and then increasing existing business by 60% as sales manager for a team of 15 sales professionals.

Later as VP of Sales, she built and led a strong team that created new and innovative partnerships, grew B2B business by 50%, and transformed the company from a local business to a national brand, serving the hospitality, landscape, and design industries throughout the US. Married to a life-long educator, Suzannah decided to shift her career to non-profit work to combine her business development skills with her passion for serving students in under-resourced communities, and working to expand access to new career pathways from an early age through transformational education experiences.

She and her husband live in Marietta, GA with their 2 boys. Suzannah has a B.A. from Boston College.

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Erique Berry

Regional Manager, Education Partnerships

Erique is the Regional Manager of Education Partnerships for the Mid-Atlantic region, in which she develops and nurtures successful partnerships with schools. She is a North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University graduate, earning a bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics focusing on economics. Erique has over 11 years of experience working in education from K-12 to higher education in Charlotte, NC, and Washington, D.C. Erique also worked with Apple Inc. in sales and technical support.

Erique devotes time to her community by continually advocating for equity in education. She formerly served on Charlotte Mayor’s Mentoring Alliance Advisory Board and, in addition to being an advisory council member for the Arts Science Council of Mecklenburg County.

In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and food photography.

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Barbra Buoy

Grant Writer

In her role as Grant Writer, Barbra secures program and project funding from foundations interested in improving equity in education and advancing early and effective science education. Before joining Out Teach, Barbra worked with international and local nonprofits, such as Catholic Relief Services (CRS), an international humanitarian aid organization.

While living abroad, Barbra worked as a writer/editor consultant for CRS’ Indonesia and Southeast Asia offices, as well as with a partner organization in Cambodia. Since 2015, Barbra has worked primarily as a grant writer for Atlanta-based nonprofits serving K-5 children, domestic violence survivors, food insecure seniors and families, and people living with HIV/AIDS. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Hampton University and a master’s degree from Loyola University in Maryland.

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Jessica Eisele

Corporate Partnerships Manager

In her role as Corporate Partnerships Manager, Jessica works to identify win/win opportunities to align companies’ CSR and employee engagement goals with under-resourced schools.  She crafts strategies for and develops customized integrated partnerships with national corporations.

Before joining Out Teach, Jessica spent the past two years travelling the United States cultivating new partnerships for an international membership association for high school scholars. Jessica, a lifetime Girl Scout, found her passion for working with school-aged children while volunteering for an outreach program in 2013 at her local Girl Scout council with more than 30,000 members.This volunteer position quickly turned into a full-time position providing outreach and grant focused programming to girls in low socio-economic elementary, middle, and high schools. Helping children discover their potential through opportunities they may not have been given without non-profit programs is one of the many reasons Jessica is excited to be part of the Out Teach team.

Jessica holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice from the State University of New York and a Paralegal Certification from Dutchess Community College.

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Daniel Morgan

Director of Strategic Initiatives

Daniel joined Out Teach in 2014 with 15 years of fundraising experience. With an emphasis on working with the business community, he has built partnerships with a variety of industries to help their employees get to work as volunteers in schools and communities.

Prior to fundraising, Daniel was a classroom teacher, where he began his commitment to educating and empowering young people. He holds a B.A. in English from the University of Texas at Arlington.

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Mackenzie Pelaez

Director, Corporate Partnerships

Prior to joining Out Teach, Mackenzie worked with a DC based national membership organization with the primary responsibility for assisting in the planning of all meetings and events. Mackenzie has worked with several associations such as The American Diabetes Association and the Florida Festivals and Events Association where she played a crucial role in the success of their annual meetings. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Event Management from the University of Central Florida.

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Heather White

Senior Regional Manager, Education Partnerships

Heather creates and develops effective partnerships with Texas districts and schools to help them achieve their goals using experiential learning outdoors. She came to Out Teach because she has seen firsthand the difference an engaging education can make in children’s lives, and has always liked coming up with creative solutions to the challenges teachers face.

Heather began her career in education in one of the most challenging learning environments in America, working with students in a juvenile detention facility. Students from a range of ages, schools, and academic backgrounds would join her class at different points during the year, and each one would remain in her class for a different amount of time. To ensure students didn’t fall behind in school, Heather created engaging student-driven projects, infused with cross-curricular real-world learning that appealed to everyone. Her classes performed scenes from Shakespeare outside, so they could truly connect with the themes and moral dilemmas the characters faced. Many of her students were already struggling in school when they arrived, and appreciated the opportunity to avoid falling further behind their classmates. Many of her students were able to overcome this difficult time in their life and went on to graduate high school and go to college.

When serving students in more traditional schools, Heather worked hard to boost students’ 21st Century and social-emotional skills with project-based clubs. In Heather’s Leadership Club, students worked together to take on a range of challenges in their community, such as hunger, homelessness, substance abuse, and literacy. Students were excited by the opportunity to make a real-world impact, and membership in the club exploded from 40 to 170 participants. Several even went on to form their own nonprofit to serve the community after high-school.

In all of her classes, Heather saw how much students wanted to have a choice in their activities, and how much they could accomplish when they were deeply invested in the outcome. She joined Out Teach in the hopes that she could bring this same level of learning and excitement to schools across Texas.

Heather earned her Master’s in Teaching from Texas A & M, and has received special certifications in English as a Second Language, Special Education, and Social Emotional Learning.

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Jamie Wildgoose

Coordinator, Partnerships & Growth

As a Coordinator of Partnerships & Growth, Jamie supports the Partnerships team and coordinates with the Program team to secure and ensure the successful implementation of partnerships and grants.

Jamie is a recent graduate from Emmanuel College with a BA in International Studies with a concentration in Global Justice and Sustainability. While in school, Jamie also worked with a range of organizations that speak to his love for the environment and a passion to help people, including the Environmental Voter Project, The United Nations Association of Greater Boston, and The American National Red Cross.

At Out Teach, Jamie is delighted to work with an organization that improves educational equity and also gives students opportunities to build a meaningful connection to the environment.

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Government Relations

Edna Chirico

Director of Government Affairs

Before joining Out Teach, Edna established the Green Teacher Network, a nonprofit that engaged more than 200 schools in schoolyard gardening connected to nutrition education in Charlotte, North Carolina. Green Teacher Network merged with Out Teach (then REAL School Gardens) in June 2016. Edna has 20 years of experience in commercial real estate and economic development. She holds the prized national CCIM designation awarded for her experience in property analysis.

Edna has supported many environmental and education initiatives, chairing the Mountain Island Lake Marine Commission and the WTVI (Public Television) Boards in Charlotte. She also served as an elected Mecklenburg County Commissioner for four years.

Her passion is to understand and support sustainable community initiatives with a specific interest in how to transform economically disadvantaged areas through schoolyard gardening. Edna has a degree in business from University of North Carolina. She’s married to John Huber, and has three children, Emily, Will, and Nick.

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Finance and HR

Claire Mooney

Vice President of Finance and Business Operations

Claire has always had a passion for education and social justice and has spent her career helping to grow and guide nonprofits that serve low-income communities.
After earning her Master’s, Claire worked with The Steppingstone Foundation, which prepares low-income students for success in school and college. Under her guidance, the foundation saw a drastic increase in applications, increasing enrollment to create their largest class ever.

Claire spent years working in youth health in Massachusetts, expanding health education services in local public schools. With her help, she quadrupled the organization’s budget. In addition to ensuring access to health education, the organization also expanded its efforts to increasing educational access to pregnant teens and young parents to ensure they could finish school.
She spent a year with CityYear as a Regional Development Director, successfully growing the region’s budget from $3M – $4M.

Most recently, she led a community-based health center that worked with immigrant communities in poverty. There she oversaw the expansion of the organization from two to six locations in D.C. and Maryland. She also tripled the organization’s earned-income.

While pursuing her career, Claire has volunteered as Treasurer of the DC Primary Care Association, which awarded her an Unsung Hero Award as the Chief Financial Officer of La Clinica del Pueblo. Claire also was a two-time award winner for her involvement as an Alumna of Boston University.

With a scholarship to Boston University, Claire earned Master’s in Business Administration with a Graduate Certificate in nonprofit management. She also holds a Bachelors’ degree in Spanish Literature with a minor in Philosophy from the University of Colorado in Boulder.

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Alex Herron

Senior Accountant

Alex has a history of working and volunteering for non-profit organizations. Prior to joining Out Teach he worked as an Accountant for North Central West Virginia Community Action, a non-profit that provides a broad range of anti-poverty services through programs such as Head Start, VITA, Homeless Recovery, Weatherization, Housing, and Veteran Services.

Throughout his life, Alex has participated in many service projects with non-profits including Lifting Hearts, Boy Scouts of America, and Four of Hearts Foundation. He served a two-year proselytizing mission for his church in Concepción, Chile, where he learned to speak Spanish fluently. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Utah.

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Christie Washington

Systems Administrator

Christie first lent her talents to Out Teach as a volunteer. Then, while on staff supporting the organization’s program team, Christie completed the highly competitive Data Science for All (DS4A) Fellow Empowerment Program with honors. During DS4A, Christie worked with professors at Harvard, Columbia, and MIT, building her proficiencies in Python, data transformation, data interpretation and visualizations, exploratory data analysis, SQL, Tableau, statistics, and linear modeling.

Christie holds a B.A. in Political Science from Texas Christian University, served as a Congressional Intern, and is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta.

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Katie McLean

Human Resources and Operations Assistant

In her role as HR and Operations Assistant, Katie helps support employees across the organization through recruiting, onboarding, and various HR-related administrative tasks.

Before joining Out Teach, Katie spent time living and working in Ireland and Scotland. During her time abroad, she supported, volunteered, and worked for numerous non-profit organizations, including the Alzheimer Society of Ireland, SACRO, and the Corra Foundation.

Growing up, Katie’s life-long love of science led her to pursue a degree in Biology, and to give all children the same sort of opportunities she had to develop a love of science and being outdoors, Katie also volunteered to build nature-rich sensory play areas in under-served communities in North Dublin. Her work with Out Teach is the perfect pairing of her professional skills and personal passions.

Katie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from New Mexico State University.

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Out Teach, formerly REAL School Gardens, provides professional development for elementary school teachers. Out Teach prepares them to use school gardens, outdoor classrooms, and green schoolyards to improve instruction through three-dimensional project-based learning, and outdoor experiential inquiry-based education. Professional learning with Out Teach improves hands-on science and STEM education through instructional coaching and digital education resources and improves 21st Century skills.