Founder & Director
Sarah is a Bank Street Graduate with an M.S. Ed. in Early Childhood Elementary Education, and has taught in a variety of public and private school settings in New York and New Jersey for the past 19 years. She is the 2018 recipient of the Margaret O’Neill Early Childhood Nature Educator Award for her work with Brooklyn Nature Days. Sarah is certified as a Forest School Kindergarten Teacher through Cedarsong Nature School and is currently pursuing her New York Master Naturalist Certification through Cornell University’s Cooperative Extension Program. She currently serves on the Board of the Eastern Regional Association of Forest and Nature Schools (ERAFANS). Sarah holds Permanent Teaching Certification in both New York and New Jersey. She is inspired by children's authenticity, energy, and expression and is rooted in the idea that we are always learning through experience, reflection, and finding the magic in day to day moments. Sarah believes strongly in the freedom, health, and creativity that ample time in nature can provide.
Assistant Director & Teacher
Originally from New York City, Lilly Clark graduated from Brooklyn College with a B.A. in Childhood Education, minoring in Sociology. She continued her professional studies at Bank Street College of Education, focusing on the Reggio Emilia approach. Lilly believes in nurturing the whole child through unconditional acceptance and compassionate interactions that are respectful of the child's ideas, input, and social-emotional development. In her spare time she enjoys yoga, book club, color-coding spreadsheets, and exploring the city by bike with her family. Lilly is certified in Infant, Child and Adult CPR and First Aid.
Director of Community/Family Outreach & Teacher
Susannah is originally from Hershey, PA, but has been a Brooklynite for 16 years. She holds a BA in English with a minor in Women's Studies, a study abroad certificate from the University of Wales, an MFA in Poetry, and has also continued her education with courses and certificates through CUNY's New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute. Susannah has 10 years of teaching experience with ages 2-6. She is certified in Infant, Child and Adult CPR and First Aid.
Formerly the co-director at Outside the Lines Playschool with her teaching partner & BND Assistant Director Lilly Clark, Susannah feels she has found her home outside in the park surrounded by children and nature. She believes that children are powerful in both body and mind and that they possess the skills and strength to complete difficult tasks independently. Susannah lives in Cobble Hill with her husband of 14 years and their two spirited sons, ages 4 & 10. She loves birding, Harry Potter, true crime podcasts, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, peanut M&Ms, and strategy board games. She rarely sleeps.
Afterschool Supervisor/Coordinator & Teacher
Myllicent is a certified NYS Early Childhood Teacher (Birth-2nd grade) and has a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education from Brooklyn College, CUNY. Before changing careers, she received her BFA from Purchase College, SUNY in Theatre Design/Technology with a focus in lighting design, in 2013. Mylli has taught in many different classroom settings, and loves the freedom and inquiry that comes from play-based and child-led learning. Since joining BND, Mylli has found that she is a devoted bird nerd and has dedicated a lot of her time to learning more about the natural world. She is certified in Infant, Child and Adult CPR, AED and First Aid. Myllicent lives in Prospect Heights with her husband and her two cats, Oliver ("O-bear") and Delilah ("Doodle"). In her free time, she enjoys healthy cooking, reading non-fiction, cuddling with her cats, volunteering for her neighborhood CSA, and standing up for a better future.
Anna grew up in San Francisco where she loved spending time at the beach and camping amongst the red woods. She moved east to study Human Rights at Bard College, where she graduated with a BA in 2011. After discovering she loved working with young children, she went on to get her Masters in Early Childhood Education from Brooklyn College. Anna is certified in general and special education for Birth-Grade 2. She is also certified in infant, child, and adult CPR. Anna formerly taught preschool for three years and has spent the last two school years teaching 1st grade at a public school in Fort Greene. This will be her third summer at Brooklyn Nature Days and she absolutely loves spending her summers outside learning and playing with the BND family. When not teaching Anna can be found at the ceramics studio, or riding her bike to the beach at Coney Island from her apartment in Ditmas Park.
Anna Fitzgerald grew up in the Vo-ag heart of Connecticut where she volunteered as a Big Sister (BBSS), studied Anthropology and Journalism, collaborated on food gardens and human rights projects while covertly liberating green houses on campus. Since moving to Brooklyn ten years ago she has produced several literary projects for terraphiles and worked as a nanny for a few mermaids, more than one Elsa, and an astronaut-dinosaur. Before she began teaching at BND three years ago, she coordinated all-ages events at the community arts venue she co-founded in Bushwick. She is wild about the park’s micro and macro life cycles, and hopes BND kiddos come to know it as their own habitat as much as the next critter. Anna is certified in Infant, Child and Adult CPR and First Aid.
Anna grew up in Zeeland, Michigan. She spent her childhood fishing and gardening with her dad, practicing Spanish with her mom and exploring the woods and water and dunes on near the shores of Lake Michigan. Anna graduated from Hope College in 2016 with a degree in International Studies. She taught English in Pasto, Colombia in 2017 and in Kerala, India in 2018. After returning to the United States, Anna began teaching outdoor education in New Hampshire and continued as an Americorps member in Jackson, Wyoming. As an outdoor educator, Anna discovered a way to combine her love of the nature and her passion for working with children. Anna is very excited to be a member of the Brooklyn Nature Days team and to continue exploring the natural world right here in New York City! She is certified in Infant, Child and Adult CPR and First Aid.
Amos Massey III
Amos grew up exploring the lush forests, swamps and gardens of Central Florida, which gave him a lasting appreciation for the outdoors. After several years as an elementary school teachers’ aide, where he led students through countless trips and activities, he moved to New York and along the way, his love of nature returned to the forefront. Amos is excited to return to an educational role with Brooklyn Nature Days and instill his love of plant life, nature and the outdoors in the next generation of nature lovers. In his spare time, you can find him in his pottery studio, on a climbing wall or hiking trail. He's currently studying to acquire a certificate in horticulture therapy. Amos is certified in Infant, Child and Adult CPR and First Aid.
Caroline is thrilled to be entering into her 3rd season with Brooklyn Nature Days. Born and raised in Boston, MA, and living in New York for the past ten years, Caroline is a proud tree hugger, environmentalist, and has worn many hats including preschool teacher’s aid, nanny, gymnastics instructor, art therapist, and mentor. Since moving to New York, Caroline has spent most summers traveling the country for various social justice causes, most recently traveling to Standing Rock, North Dakota to document and support the struggle of the native people to protect their sacred lands. She feels strongly that environmental educators have a responsibility to be strong advocates for the environment, all day, everyday, and especially now. Caroline currently attends Hunter College where she is an undergraduate, majoring in Women and Gender Studies. She is certified in Infant, Child and Adult CPR and First Aid.
Ellie grew up in the woods of Connecticut hiking, splashing in the river, catching frogs, and gardening with her mom. She attended Vassar college in Poughkeepsie, NY where she received a BA in Educational Studies. While in college, Ellie discovered her love for outdoor education working at a farm gardening and cooking with children. After graduating, her passion took her to San Francisco where she spent a year as a garden teacher for a public elementary school and a year as a teacher at a forest preschool in San Francisco's Presidio National Forest. Ellie joined the Brooklyn Nature Days team in the Summer of 2018, and is so grateful to get to spend her days co-creating, exploring, and learning from and with the most amazing tiny humans. She is certified in Infant, Child and Adult CPR and First Aid.
Gemma Inguanta hails from Long Island, NY. She holds a BA in Sociology with minors in Gender and Sexuality Studies and Social Work. Gemma's journey includes having the privilege to travel the country for social justice causes, nannying for a wonderfully mischievous little girl, farming in Upstate New York and most recently working as an educator at a Queens based farm. Her love for children stems from her intuitive and playful nature. She adores and cherishes children's creativity, imagination, and insatiable desire to learn and ask questions! Gemma is driven by her firm understanding and knowing that nature, spirituality, and love will create a better future for all children. In her spare time she dabbles in herbalism, her new found passion for mycology, and spending time learning from nature! She will begin her Masters of Social Work at Columbia University in the Fall of 2019 and is delighted to be a part of the Brooklyn Nature Days movement! She is certified in Infant, Child and Adult CPR and First Aid.
Jan is thrilled to join the Brooklyn Nature Days community. Raising her two kids with her schoolteacher husband near Prospect Park—and often in it—she feels very much at home there and is eager to experience it anew through the children’s eyes. For the past seven years, Jan has volunteered in the ornithology department at the American Museum of Natural History. Before moving to Brooklyn in 2010, she helped create an overnight place-based education program for middle schoolers and collaborated with teachers on a school garden initiative in Ashland, Oregon. Previous lives include touring with a theater ensemble as a juggler and trapeze artist; other interests include baking, watching old films, and taking her kids bird watching. She received her BA in Anthropology from Penn and an MS in Environmental Education from Southern Oregon University. Jan is certified in Infant, Child and Adult CPR and First Aid.
Jeana is a native New Yorker who lives in Brooklyn with her two cats. She is currently in grad school to receive her MFA in Playwriting from Rutgers Mason Gross and received her BA in Theatre and Performance from Purchase College. Jeana has years of nanny and camp counselor experience and loves to use her storytelling and theatre experience to be imaginative, creative, and silly. Jeana is CPR and First Aid certified.
Jenna Sclafani moved to New York 12 years ago from Cincinnati, Ohio, where her love of nature originated. She spent her childhood riding horses, hiking, gardening, and loving all creatures, big and small. Her affinity for nature and ecology has since evolved and expanded into the early childhood realm. She is currently a preschool teacher by day, grad student by night, and will obtain her Masters in Early Childhood Education with an extension in Special Education in Spring, 2020 from Brooklyn College. In her free time, you can find her teaching kids yoga, volunteering at a non profit, and hula hooping. Jenna is certified in Infant, Child and Adult CPR and First Aid.
Jess is a New York City native who comes to Brooklyn Nature Days with over a decade of professional childcare experience, including founding, directing, and teaching in her own co-op play school in Park Slope. Outside of work, Jess enjoys reading, knitting, baking, hiking in the Hudson Valley, training Krav Maga, and most, of all, spending time with her beloved Spaniel mix, Cannoli. She is certified in infant, child, and adult CPR and first aid.
Josie is a current student at Hunter College School of Social Work. Originally from Michigan, she grew to love the outdoors by exploring the Great Lakes and spending time in the state parks. She graduated from Kalamazoo College with a degree in psychology and sociology. Before moving to NYC, she worked abroad teaching English to preschool- and elementary-aged children. Her travels and interactions with the natural world have shaped her work and passion for working with young people. Josie loves to read and crochet. She currently lives in Clinton Hill. Josie is certified in Infant, Child and Adult CPR and First Aid.
Kaitlyn "Kate" Eldridge
Kate grew up a block from the ocean in Long Beach, NY and has been living in Brooklyn for over 10 years. As a young teenager, her very first job was as a babysitter, and she has continued to work with children ever since. More recently, Kate has worked as an after-school counselor, a Montessori preschool teacher’s aide, a guitar teacher, a summer camp counselor, and as a nanny for children and infants as young as 2 months old. She is certified in Infant, Child and Adult CPR, and First Aid. When she's not working with children, Kate travels the world playing music with her band.
Katie Rein is originally from Buffalo, New York and is returning to New York City after being gone for the past three years. Katie spent the last year backpacking internationally partaking in international educator’s workshops, trekking glaciers in Patagonia and completing a children’s yoga teacher training. Prior to that she was living and working at an International Preschool in Berkeley, California, teaching children French, mindfulness and yoga.
Katie completed her Masters in Bilingual/Bicultural Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and lived amongst the diversity in both Harlem and Brooklyn. She has also lived in Paris, France; Alexandria, Egypt; Philadelphia, PA and Petah Tikva and Hod Ha Sharon in Israel. Katie received her B.A. from SUNY Binghamton with a dual degree in Arabic and French and dual minors in Spanish and Global Studies.
When not traveling Katie can be found practicing yoga, hiking, skiing, camping, tending to her many houseplants or conversing in one of her 5 languages. Katie loves the outdoors and believes in the healing and magical powers of nature and is most excited to work with children’s imaginations in this school setting. She is certified in CPR and Pediatric First Aid.
Keith grew up in Manhattan and nearby Montclair, NJ. He developed a love for nature through constant visits to the zoos and parks of New York City and his summers spent by the shore in Cape Cod, MA. He studied wildlife biology at Unity College (Maine) and worked in several zoos and nature centers over the next ten years. Working with children and nature became his main focus over that time as he served as the out-of-school time coordinator at the Staten Island Zoo, where he oversaw all summer camp and afterschool programs. He is currently finishing his Masters in inquiry based learning through Miami University’s Advanced Inquiry Program located at the Bronx Zoo. Keith is certified in Infant, Child and Adult CPR and First Aid.
The Proudest New Jerseyan you'll ever meet, Lily has loved nature, animals, and the outdoors for as long as she can remember. She received her BA in Biology from Bard College in 2015, where she focused her studies on ecology and conservation biology. Lily loves sharing her passion for nature, wildlife (especially bats), and science with others. An aspiring conservation biologist, she believes that conservation is as much about people as it is about what must be protected, and she is committed to help others fall as in love with nature as she has. Lily has worked as an environmental educator for the past several years, serving with AmeriCorps in northwestern New Jersey and with summer camps at Central Park Zoo. When she's not educating the future naturalists of America, Lily loves hiking, birdwatching, and touring with her band. She is certified in Infant, Child and Adult CPR and First Aid.
Maggie grew up in Long Island, NY and is currently at NYU studying Applied Psychology with minors in Business Studies and Chinese. This is her second summer with BND and in the past has taught environmental science to elementary schoolers and was also a youth golf coach. She enjoys figure skating, exploring the city with her friends and cooking. Maggie is Infant, Child and Adult CPR certified.
Manja grew up in Berlin, Germany and has a degree in Early Childhood and Adolescent Education from the Friedrich Fröbel School for Social Education. Now approaching her 10th year as a New Yorker, Manja has taught in classrooms all over the city and brings her love of exploration and discovery to the students at Brooklyn Nature Day. She lives in Sunnyside, Queens with her husband and son and in her spare time she tirelessly surveys the bagels of New York with heroic determination. Manja is certified in Infant, Child and Adult CPR and First Aid.
Meg, a central Pennsylvania native, earned her Bachelor and Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Delaware. Over the years, Meg has had extensive experience with children as a babysitter, voice teacher, and paraeducator. Meg is certified in Infant, Child and Adult CPR. Growing up surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains, Meg developed a deep love of nature and she is excited to share that with the students of Brooklyn Nature Days. In her spare time, Meg loves yoga, travel, cooking, and snuggling with her roommates dogs.
Originally from New York City, Menemsha was raised in Connecticut and has now been living in Brooklyn for nine years. She has a Master's degree in political theory and has recently returned to school for social work after teaching preschool for several years. She is passionate about the intersection of collective healing and movement building and is working to develop her own anti-bias curriculum for various age groups. This will be her third consecutive summer working at Brooklyn Nature Days and she is grateful to be surrounded trees, young people and brilliant BND teachers. Menemsha is certified in Infant, Child and Adult CPR.
Nancy grew up in Brooklyn and has lived here her whole life, currently an undergrad at Hunter College majoring in Psychology and minoring in Music. She has worked with kids for approximately 6 years. Her hobby is photography, and she loves going to zoos and museums. Nancy is certified in Infant, Child and Adult CPR.
When she was 12, Nicole had her first job working at a day camp in Bush, Louisiana. Summers spent leading hikes through Louisiana’s wetlands have inspired her love of nature ever since. She is a graduate of Fordham University and has worked with children for over 8 years. When she’s not working, she enjoys reading about food science, baking, and going to see live music. Nicole is certified in Infant, Child and Adult CPR.
Nina moved to the big city from the mountains of Asheville, NC in Sept 2018. She has a BA in Theatre Studies and a minor in Education from Guilford College. While living in Asheville she was a preschool teacher in the young threes classroom which is where her love for teaching began.
Since joining BND in Oct 2018, Nina has discovered a newfound love for all things feathered, leafy, woody, and muddy. She feels so fortunate to have found a career where she gets to teach kids to love and care for the earth and all the little critters on it.
In her spare time Nina leads a fairly sedentary lifestyle. She dabbles in baking, embroidery, and couch potato-ing with her husband and their little black cat. Nina is certified in Infant, Child and Adult CPR.
Growing up between California and Hawaii, Sara has been living in Brooklyn for the last decade. She received her BA in Cultural Studies and Media from Eugene Lang College and has done graduate research in religion, ecology, environmental ethics, and philosophy. Sara enjoys gardening throughout the city and has studied urban agriculture and ecology at Farm School NYC, an organization committed to food justice and community empowerment. Most recently, Sara has spent time traveling throughout South America, learning Spanish, teaching English, and photographing hummingbirds. Humbled by the flora and fauna of our planet, Sara looks forward to sharing her love of Earth's micro and macro wonders with Brooklyn Nature Days. Sara is certified in Infant, Child and Adult CPR and First Aid.
Sean is a graduate of Florida State University with a diverse background in the recreational nonprofit world. A true Florida native, Sean has spent majority of his summers teaching children the joys of the outdoors at 4-H summer camp, from kayaking to archery. He spent his final years in Florida making wishes come true for kids with life threatening illnesses at Give Kids the World in Orlando. Sean moved to Brooklyn earlier this year, and is looking forward to all of the adventures Brooklyn Nature Days has in store! He is certified in Infant, Child and Adult CPR.
Kelly has been teaching yoga to people of all ages for over a decade. In 2007 she left her successful advertising career for the yoga mat and never looked back. Her passion for the practice truly shines whether she is 'playing' yoga with children, helping teens meditate, or guiding adults through a creative flow. Highly regarded as a kids yoga expert, Kelly spent four years regularly traveling the world training kids yoga teachers. She resides in Brooklyn and teaches in schools, studios, and privately in homes all over the city.
Yo Re Mi
Yo Re Mi is thrilled to bring music, yoga and mindfulness education to Brooklyn Nature Days. Our unique musical yoga program enhances learning, encourages creativity and imagination, while promoting whole-child wellness. Having started at one preschool in 2014, Yo Re Mi now provides music and movement enrichment at over 20 schools and daycares in New York and New Jersey. Founders Dan Costello and Rachel Costello are local Brooklyn residents and their team of talented teachers are certified yoga instructors and professional musicians. See videos and hear songs at www.yoremikids.com