Meet our Team
SARAH SCHUMACHER, Forest School Director
I am honored to be part of the growing movement to reconnect families and young children to nature, and even more delighted to be part of a developing preschool community committed to preserving the joy and wonder of childhood. As a mother, I continue to reflect daily on what it means for children to be living and growing in our modern world. As an educator, I am inspired by the nobility young children have for teaching us, as adults, how to play again – how to enjoy simple moments, live in the present, and experience the world with all of our senses.
I hold a Master’s degree in Developmental Neuroscience from Yale University and a Graduate Certificate in Infant Mental Health from the University of Washington. For the past 15 years I have been working as an Early Childhood Consultant in the Puget Sound area, educating families, preschools, childcares, public health, and social service agencies on the social and emotional needs of young children.
I enjoy gardening, bird-watching, and cooking for my family and friends. I live in Kent, WA with my husband and three young children, Ella, Hudson, and Arlo.
JOANN O’MEARA, Forest School Teacher
CRISTIN DAVIS, Farm School Teacher
As a young girl, there were two things I wanted most; to find buried treasure and have my own secret garden. I remember gathering my tools and hand drawn map in a backpack, heading outside and digging in the dirt finding worms. Now my three sons have carried on this tradition! I am thrilled to be part of a program that fosters in children the natural sense of adventure, curiosity and love for the outdoors as I grew up with. I believe that children are born with these qualities and it’s up to the adults in their lives to foster them.
I hold a BA in Human Services. For the past 10 years my passion and focus has been helping children and families thrive. I value lifelong education on an individual level and especially as a parent to my three curious, adventuresome boys. Each stage of life brings its own unique challenges and areas for growth. I continue to volunteer my time working in preschool, elementary, and now middle school classrooms, as well parent education. My parenting philosophy takes root in positive discipline and respecting our children as capable human beings.
In addition to spending time with my family, I enjoy gardening, writing, baking, playing my guitar, dancing, biking and hiking.
BRAD DUPEA, Forest School Teacher
I am an outgoing and loving individual motivated by helping others to reach their potential. I first began trying to do this through coaching nine-year-olds in the game of soccer, weaving in the concepts of teamwork, dependability, discipline, listening, and physical activity into one. Then I graduated from Linfield College with a BA in Athletic Training and got a job at Lincoln High School, where I educate athletes on prevention, treatment, and recovery from injuries while overseeing their safety at sporting events. But through my Liberal Arts education and my Minor in Philosophy I became passionate about spreading love and knowledge of the natural world and instilling a spirit of individuality and respect in our future generations.
As I feel it is important to remain a student in life, I admire children’s natural ability to live in the present moment; remaining curious, seeing the beauty in everything, never afraid to say what is on their mind. This beautiful awareness combined with the natural world and hands-on play provides a fertile environment for self-discovery. I am grateful to be part of a movement dedicated to providing children with outdoor experiences capable of molding them into responsible, active, loving citizens.
My interests include soccer, camping, snowboarding, meditation, reading, and Reiki. Positivity and gratitude are the staples to my life philosophy.
MEGAN PYLE, Forest School Teacher
I absolutely love Washington and was lucky enough to grow up in Maple Valley. My childhood was spent riding horses, wading in ponds, and exploring the beautiful forests of the Pacific Northwest. I believe that discovering a connection with the Earth helps build connections to each other and to ourselves.
I graduated from Pacific Lutheran University with a BA in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Since 2003, I have had the privilege of working as an early education teacher. My favorite part of being a teacher is experiencing the wonder and magic that children bring to an ordinary day.
I live in my hometown of Maple Valley with my husband Chris, our daughter Charley, and our dogs and cats – two of each. In my spare time I love reading, photography, going to the beach, and playing games.
ERICA WITTGOW, Farm School Teacher
Growing up in Puget Sound provided me a love of water and the outdoors. My family spent countless days on our boat, exploring our favorite marinas or discovering new coves. The freedom of wandering beaches, net in hand, set me on a lifelong path of enjoying both the quiet and adventurous moments nature offers us. Now that I am a mother, I seek to find ways to provide this open exploring to our son.
I hold a degree in Early Childhood Special Education and continue to advocate on behalf of children of all abilities. In my work, I hope to support all children in finding joy, connection to nature and each other. I also currently serve on Greenplay Cooperative’s Board of Directors and lead the Crafting Cooperative.