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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Programs

Scott Feille

Vice President, Programs

Before joining Out Teach (then REAL School Gardens) 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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Luisa Aviles

Instructional Coach

Luisa currently provides training and coaching to partner schools in MD, VA and DC, and has also worked with teachers and students in North Carolina, Atlanta, and Texas.

In addition to providing her expertise to teachers one-on-one, Luisa empowers teachers in experiential outdoor STEM education through her extensive work with groups such as 100kin10 and the 21st Century Learning Academy. She also raises awareness about the importance of experiential STEM education through conference presentations for school districts and administrators.

Luisa first encountered Out Teach when she was the co-chair for the Junior Master Gardener Club for L.K. Hall Elementary. She brings with her nine years of teaching experience in North Texas elementary schools. Luisa ran a project-based-learning module centered on the school’s garden, and has plenty of experience to share with the teachers she trains.

Before becoming a teacher, Luisa worked in the food and airlines businesses and holds a Bachelor degree in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Special Education.

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Evan Dintaman

Project Director, Outdoor Spaces

Evan leads the Out Teach project management team, which oversees the design, construction, and implementation of new outdoor learning labs, as well as smaller learning spaces at our partner schools. The project management team is also responsible for planning and executing Out Teach volunteer projects, including our signature “Big Dig” events.

 

Evan joined Out Teach in early 2016 as the project manager for our Mid-Atlantic region. Currently, Evan oversees the Out Teach project management team as the Project Director for Outdoor Learning Spaces. Prior to joining Out Teach, Evan worked as a designer for an engineering firm in Pennsylvania, serving on a number of large-scale environmental and construction projects. More recently, he designed native gardens, green roofs, and public parks for a landscape architecture firm in Bethesda, MD. Throughout his career, Evan has gained professional experience in sustainable landscape design, native plant and habitat gardens, outdoor education design, and construction management. Evan received his Bachelors of Landscape Architecture from Pennsylvania State University. He also studied Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. During his free time, Evan enjoys fly fishing, tennis, playing the drums, and snowboarding.

 

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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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Christie Washington

Program Coordinator

Christie Washington has spent her life helping those in need. Her mother spent 20 years as a HeadStart teacher and Christie started volunteering with her early and often, helping disadvantaged children enter kindergarten ready and excited to learn. She continued to focus on both academics and volunteering throughout high-school, which ended up earning her not one, but two prestigious merit scholarships to Texas Christian University.

From there, she attended the University of Texas School of Law, and then received the opportunity to become a Congressional Intern. Working in Washington D.C., she was able to combine her passion for helping kids in low-income communities with her legal and governmental knowledge.

Christie holds a B.A. in Political Science from Texas Christian University and an active member of Delta Sigma Theta.

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Kalle Waterhouse

Project Manager

Kalle grew up in Atlanta and during her high school years, her mother studied to become an herbalist and they spent all their free time on plant ID walks and touring gardens around the Southeast. Then, as an undergraduate, Kalle stumbled upon the world of Landscape Architecture and has built a career around learning every angle of the profession, focusing on green infrastructure and design for social justice.

Kalle is a Registered Landscape Architect. She holds a BA in Environmental Policy & Latin American Studies from Warren Wilson College and a Master’s from the University of Georgia. Prior to joining Out Teach, she designed amenity spaces for mixed-use developments, incorporated green infrastructure into residential areas, developed corporate campus designs, and created edible learning gardens at over 65 Chicago Public Schools.

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Sammy Wren

Instructional Coach

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

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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Maggie Haag

Associate, Operations & Growth

Maggie works on multiple projects with a range of departments at Out Teach. She works on strategic growth projects, researches relevant education topics, and manages the organization’s Raiser’s Edge database, in addition to supporting the CEO and Board of Directors. For those looking to connect with the organization, Maggie is the ideal starting place.

Maggie is fascinated with the underlying patterns of language and communication, and majored in Anthropology and minored in Socio-Linguistics and New Media. While in school, she received the Kirkland Endowment Research Award to work with hundreds of refugees from around the world to help them learn to speak and write English. While working with teenaged Thai refugees, she discovered the power of experiential learning, getting the kids excited about practicing English while watching television, listening to music, experiencing pop-culture, and studying art.Maggie introduced her students to shows such as Glee, and using music and subtitles, not only did they pick up English more quickly, but they also picked up cultural nuances in an interactive, experiential, and fun way.After graduating, Maggie joined the launch team of a tech start up called Smigin, which develops language learning apps for those traveling to new countries and looking for enough fluency to get by and have a successful visit. She not only helped create and capture the necessary content for the software, but she also oversaw the external marketing and communications around the product, and executed a successful outreach campaign to encourage public libraries to adopt the product.

Before Smigin, Maggie worked with Behind the book, a literacy nonprofit that brings authors and illustrators into public schools to perform educational writing workshops, walking students step-by-step though the process of writing, illustrating, and publishing a book. Maggie also performed extensive event management duties for her school’s Alumni Relations Office, organizing annual alumni art exhibitions and reunion weekends. Maggie received her B.A. from Hamilton College. Long-term, Maggie plans to return to school and become a public school teacher. She hopes her experience with Out Teach will give her a strong experiential foundation to work from.

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Suzannah Koilpillai

Senior Director of Partnerships

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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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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Katrina Reed

School Partnerships Manager

Katrina is an advocate for educators. During her time as a teacher, she was just as passionate about supporting her colleagues as she was about educating her students. Out Teach allows Katrina to continue her support of educators. She has 13 years of experience educating youth and empowering educators via multiple roles across three school districts. Katrina also took her advocacy for educators abroad and spent two years building teacher efficacy within the Abu Dhabi Education Council.

Katrina’s knowledge of K-12 education has proven to be invaluable throughout her nonprofit career. She leveraged her experience to establish and maintain partnerships between Chicago Public Schools and over 170 community and corporate partners. The partnerships she cultivated connected over 12,000 students and teachers to services and programs that positively impacted student achievement. Her leadership experience in the nonprofit world and her K-12 professional experience are assets to her current role.

Katrina holds a B.A. in English, M.A. in Early Childhood Education and an Educational Specialist in Curriculum and Instruction.

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Mackenzie Pelaez

Manager, 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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Erin Wescott

Director of Philanthropy

Erin leads Out Teach’s philanthropic fundraising efforts, building lasting partnerships with foundations, individuals, and philanthropic organizations like the United Way.

Out Teach connects three of Erin’s passions: Education, the environment, and nonprofit development. Prior to joining the team, Erin worked at several other DFW area nonprofit organizations including Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity and The Women’s Center of Tarrant County. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration, both from Texas A&M University in College Station.

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Heather White

School Partnerships Manager

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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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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Marketing and Communications

Alison Risso

Senior Director, Marketing & Communications

Alison has spent the last 20 years handling communications and marketing for non-fiction television networks such as Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Public Television, and a nonprofit organization called KaBOOM!, which builds playgrounds in low-income communities.

While television shows, swing sets, and outdoor experiential lessons might not seem related at first glance, Alison’s career orbits around learning and children. Every day, she enjoys learning something new and lending a hand to make the world a more engaging place for kids.

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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.