Meet The Team
Owner & Teacher Tuesdays & Thursdays
Charissa is the owner and director of Fern Gully Forest School and has been in the environmental education and conservation field for over 13 years. Charissa has led groups of all ages on ecological restoration projects, and tree planting work parties, and worked with elementary school groups to design and install native plant gardens. She especially enjoys educating children on the elements of wildlife habitat and identifying native plants and their edible and medicinal uses. Her mission is to provide learning opportunities for children that cultivates critical life skills, fosters a sense of belonging and life-long relationships with the natural world, and that builds their resilience by connecting them with the Earth’s bountiful medicine, beauty, and wisdom.
Amy's background is in Holistic Education, Nutrition, and Health, which gives her a unique perspective when working with children. She is a trained Certified Health Coach as well as a Yoga, Tai chi, and Dance teacher. Her degree from the Evergreen State College set the foundation for her love of nature and outdoor education. Her time spent at the Olympia Community School, The Waldorf School, Head Start's Bi-Lingual Preschool, and many other Outdoor Preschools and camps shaped the way she works with children. Her role as the Director of the before and after school program at Lincoln Elementary gave her the foundation and understanding of the necessary ingredients needed for a successful, thriving program.
Mon, Wed, Fridays Teacher
Conner graduated from The Evergreen State College where they studied environmental science, learning from indigenous perspectives, and utilizing art to broaden their understating of the powerful relationship people have with nature. They have over a decade of experience in child care. This includes program directing at a sleep-away mountain camp, where they guided opportunities for children to safely explore the woods, facilitating stewardship, play, and discovery. Seeing the positive effect engagement has on youth, Conner exercises the intentional aspects of child care where children can develop their sense of accountability, belonging, and character.
Greg has his Bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. He's a certified Storm Water Steward and Agri-preneur Business Training Graduate. He is a music teacher and a long-time volunteer for Wild Grief, facilitating peer groups for children and adults who are grieving a death by creating the space for sharing, connection, and healing in nature. He has been a teacher’s assistant in preschool, 1st and 2nd grade. Greg is safety-oriented, loves to play, gets on the level with kids, and has a caring, compassionate attitude with a natural ability to help kids better understand themselves and work through their big emotions.
Mon, Wed, Fridays Teacher
Shayden is a songwriter, lover of trees, and avid reader. She is passionate about the interconnectivity between all aspects of what comprises a forest ecosystem. Her bachelor's degree is in botany and ecology from The Evergreen State College. She believes that human development and healing of our relationship with the earth begins with exploring the natural world. She supports children to follow their curiosity and draw inspiration from the outdoors. On most days, you can find her playing guitar to the Puget Sound at sunset or teaching music lessons in the forest.
Keeva Mcmanus comes to us with fantastic references from her past three years of outdoor education working with preschool and kindergarten age, as well as older children. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from the Evergreen State College in biology, botany, and ecology. She loves to teach children about plants, insects, mushrooms, lifecycles, survival skills, nature awareness, social and emotional skills, and much more. She focuses on practicing kindness and gentleness with animals we encounter as well as with ourselves and each other.