Staff (pictured here: Ryan, Shannon, Chelsea, Amelia)
Our staff collectively has over 50 years of experience teaching young children and there is nothing they love more than exploring the natural world alongside their students and families. Having the opportunity to view nature through the eyes of young children and witness the awe and excitement they feel is a true joy.
Stephanie Bozzo, Founding Director
Stephanie holds a B.S. in Psychology from Virginia Tech with a concentration of her coursework in child development. She also holds a certificate in early childhood education. Stephanie has extensive experience as an educator in formal classrooms as well as informal classrooms such as summer camp programs and public school enrichment programs, creating and implementing activities as well as providing leadership for children and staff. Stephanie lives in North Bethesda with her husband, Tom, and their sons Damon (5), Shane (3), and Desmond (1). Stephanie loves hiking, biking, cooking and baking, traveling, seeing live music, and spending time with family and friends.
Ryan Frye, Saplings and Sprouts Teacher
Ryan Frye holds a B.A. degree in Early Childhood and Family Studies from the University of Washington. He comes to us with a wealth of experience teaching for twelve years at the Boys and Girls Clubs in Seattle. At the Boys and Girls Club, Ryan spent five years teaching Pre-K, while also leading an afterschool program, ten years of summer camps, and most recently two years as director of one of their child care centers. Ryan has just recently moved to the DC area after spending the bulk of the past year traveling in Europe. Ryan enjoys reading, hiking and cooking.
Amelia McLaughlin, Saplings and Sprouts Teacher
Amelia McLaughlin, a Takoma Park native and graduate of Sandy Springs Friends School, holds a B.A. in history and political science from Guildford College and a teaching degree in early childhood education from Montgomery College. She last spent the last ten summers at a play-based outdoor summer camp, first as a camper, then a counselor and finally as a co-director the past two summers. Amelia has spent the last few years teaching preschool in DC. Amelia enjoys exploring museums, doing yoga, and watching documentaries.
Chelsea Hawk, Oaks Teaching Assistant
Chelsea Hawk holds a B.A. in elementary and special education. As a recent graduate of Towson University, she has had the opportunity to gain experience in classrooms throughout Montgomery County. Chelsea believes that children learn best when given the freedom to explore, ask questions, and make discoveries. She aspires to bring her passion for curiosity and creativity into her daily teaching, and loves seeing her students develop their own passions as they continue along the road to becoming lifelong learners. Chelsea lives in Silver Spring with her children Olivia and Evan, and their cat Duma. Chelsea and her family enjoy gardening, baking, and finding new hiking trails to explore.
Shannon Earle, Oaks Teacher
Shannon Earle holds a M.S. in Natural Resources and Environment with a focus on Environmental Education from the University of Michigan. Her career has included work as a Park Ranger Interpreter in Canyonlands National Park, environmental education with schools around a forest reserve in Costa Rica, and eight years managing a training program at Conservation International. Recently she has served as both a board member and a parent co-opper at the Takoma Park Cooperative Nursery School.
Katrina Kugel, Acorns Teacher
Katrina E. Kugel holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MBA from Northwestern. Katrina also coordinates the salad science program through ANS’s GreenKids program. She has taught environmental education to elementary school students in Montgomery County as well as an enrichment class at a local preschool. She lives in Silver Spring with her husband Jeremy and two boys Leo and Grady.
Ruth Polk, Acorns Teacher
Ruth Polk holds a B.A. in English from Haverford College and a M.S. in Resource Policy and Behavior from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Ruth brings years of experience teaching pre-k through 5th graders throughout the DC-metro region. Ruth lives in Takoma Park with her husband, Shmuel, their two sons Aaron (14) and Ethan (12), and Pettigrew, their beloved dog, part coonhound, part lab. Ruth and her family are avid hikers and explorers of nature both locally and in the many nearby nature reserves and parks. Her former work included researching the links between the environment and women’s health, particularly breast cancer and working with industries to adopt less polluting technologies.
The Audubon Naturalist Society’s children’s education staff will also lend their expertise to the program. Our program also benefits from warm and engaging experiences with our talented interns and volunteers.