Olympic Nature Experience teachers bring many years of experience working in naturalist roles, teaching, raising young children, and mentoring. Staff are specially trained in nature-based teaching and also trained to recognize natural dangers to keep participants safe. All staff members are First Aid/CPR certified and background checked.
Would you like to join the Olympic Nature Experience team? We are always looking for passionate nature educators to join our team! If you are interested in joining our staff, fill out an application and we will get back to you if you are a fit for one of our current positions.
Merissa Koller WilliamsExecutive Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah GreenwaldProgram Director email@example.com
Sarah began working at Olympic Nature Experience in 2016 as a teacher and administrator. In 2022, she stepped into the Program Director position. Sarah has a B.A. in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Barbara and a M.Ed in Environmental Education from Western Washington University. Sarah has been teaching outdoor programs for over a decade and has a Forest Kindergarten Teaching Certificate. She is grateful for the Olypmic Nature Experience community and loves stomping in puddles, exploring beaches, and eating trail snacks.
Jill ZarzecznyAdministrative Assistant & Teacher firstname.lastname@example.org
Jill, a native to the Midwest, moved to the North Olympic Peninsula in 2009 to work in Olympic National Park where she spent 5 years leading volunteers and growing plants for the Elwha River Revegetation Project. Most recently, Jill has focused on raising her two wild girls and training to be a community herbalist. Jill is passionate about connecting people to one another and our local landscape through time spent together in the natural world. She and her family can be found searching for banana slugs in the forest, snacking on wild berries, or lounging along the bank a nearby river.
Melissa ForsterLead Teacher email@example.com
Melissa moved to the Olympic Peninsula to attend the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding in 2016 and decided to call it home after falling in love with the unique ecology and community. Learning the art of traditional boatbuilding led to a burgeoning passion and commitment to teaching young children in her ideal classroom environment, nature. After pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education from Peninsula College she has taught young children through Headstart and a local nature preschool. She is honored to have the opportunity to join the Olympic Nature Experience team while serving the children and families of Owl’s Hollow Early Learning.
Andrea LowLead Teacher Andrea@olympicnatureexperience.org
Amanda MurphyLead Teacher firstname.lastname@example.org
Nancy Morris-VogelLead Teacher
Nancy lives and works on a peaceful little farm with her husband, daughter, dog and chickens. After graduating from Sequim High School she spent a few years working as a wild land firefighter, traveling and working for Boulder Outdoor Survival School. Her desire to help people has led her to a 20 year and counting career in massage therapy. Coming back to teaching outdoor skills and working with children is a fulfillment of a long time dream.
Teacher Sylvester grew up along the saline coastal forests of Maine and the Smokey mountains of Tennessee, where he fell in love with the natural world. After attending Tom Brown Jr’s Tracker School in 2007 he began mentoring the children in his life. Moving to Washington and teaching at Olympic Nature Experience has brought many opportunities to share his passion for nature connection and primitive skills with children and continue his education.
Mahina recently moved to Port Angeles. She was born in Hawaii, and grew up in New Mexico, but she has settled and is putting down roots here in the Pacific Northwest. She is an artist with many years of experience as an art educator, childcare provider and mom. She loves being out in nature and feels passionate about the positive effects of outdoor education and play for young children and is so excited to be joining the team at Olympic Nature Experience.
Gioia Roldan ShawTeacher
After twelve years teaching Montessori preschool in California and South Carolina, Gioia returned to her native Washington in 2021. She is delighted to bring her passions for early childhood education and the great outdoors into her work with Olympic Nature Experience. She looks forward to learning and growing alongside the students and their families. In her free time, she can be found reading to her daughter, cooking delicious meals, and enjoying walks around her home in Port Angeles.
Erica recently moved to Port Angeles, following time in Olympia, Montreal and Seattle. Her recent years have been spent teaching at a nature-based preschool and creative reuse center, while making art in her free time. With a BA in Environmental Studies from McGill University and a love of local ecology, Erica is excited to join Olympic Nature Experience .
Kerri has had a strong desire to be a teacher since she was six year old. Growing up on military bases, mostly in Germany, gave her a rich perspective and love for history and culture. Kerri attained a Bachelor of Social Work at the University of Kansas, while attending she designed an art program for a private elementary school. Wishing to get beyond walls, Kerri became the Director of Education for a wilderness based therapy program for teens and adults. Here she learned basic survival skills, and the love of creating beautiful items with her hands. Kerri also has an intense love of Waldorf education, intergrating head, heart, and hands. Kerri is the mother to the cutest boys in the world!!!!
Darcy comes to ONE with about a decade of experience teaching middle school in Alaska, and is now splitting her time subbing and being an aviation engineer. Darcy subs at ONE because she loves to see the kids in nature and their imaginations at work! They learn invaluable social skills and self-empowerment every day.
Board of Directors
An appreciation for the easy access to wild beaches, forests and mountains brought Noah and his wife to the Olympic Peninsula in 2011. He is happy to now be raising two children on the Peninsula and connecting to and supporting the community however he can. Noah is the Assistant Director at the North Olympic Library System where he oversees and implements a wide range of services and programs throughout Clallam County.
Jason TaylorBoard Chair
Glen WadeBoard Member
Lindsey ShepherdBoard Member
Lindsey and her family recently moved to the Olympic Peninsula and are excited to join the community. Her children are enrolled in Olympic Nature Experience and have already received so many positive benefits from being a part of this unique and enriching program. She has 10 years experience working in the food industry as a chef and as a Director of Operations for food innovation companies. Lindsey also enjoys being involved in the arts and serves on the Board of Trustees at the Bellevue Arts Museum in Seattle. Exploring the Olympic Peninsula and connecting with local farmers has been the family’s favorite pastime since moving out here.
Bryan HarpBoard Member
Bryan spent the first few decades of his life on the east coast before deciding to move to the Olympic Peninsula in 2018 with his wife. He has two children; the eldest of which is an enthusiastic Olympic Nature Experience student. Bryan works professionally as an employee benefits consultant. He has a life-long love of board sports, enjoys gardening with his family and taking advantage of all the amazing nature the Olympic Peninsula has to offer.