OUR TEACHERS

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KRISTIN HAMMER

Owner and Teacher

Hello, my name is Kristin Hammer. I created Nature Together because I love teaching young children and I have a passion for the great outdoors. I have seen first hand how engaged children become with the natural world and how excited they are to learn about wildlife.

 

I moved to Mukilteo 9 years ago from Illinois with my husband and, at the time, 3 year old son. We were in awe of Washington’s beauty and started exploring the parks in our community right away. We now have three kids and continue to take them outside to learn, play, relax and exercise.

 

I have a bachelor of science degree in ecology from Winona State University in Minnesota. After I received my degree I traveled around the country doing work in the ornithology (study of birds) field. During my few years of bird work I discovered that I had a passion for teaching. I then decided to go back to school to earn a masters of science degree in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in environmental education from Northern Illinois University. I have taught in museums, nature centers, parks and preschools. I also completed Erin Kenny’s teacher training and became a Cedarsong-Certified Forest Kindergarten teacher.

 

In my spare time, I like to spend time with my family (husband, three kids, and 2 dogs), walk in the gulch, visit the mountains, the beach, and work in my garden.

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THERESA COSTANZO

Teacher

My name is Theresa Costanzo and I will be joining Kris on her adventure with Nature Together.

 

My husband and I moved to Washington in 1997 and have raised 2 boys here. Having grown up in Pennsylvania, Texas and North Carolina I have been able to experience diverse natural surroundings but I admit the Pacific Northwest is my favorite. Our access to such variety: beaches, forests and mountains, is unmatched.

 

I have assisted in a traditional Preschool environment for the past 13 years and plan to apply all I’ve learned to the Nature Together model. I have always taken an active role in my boys’ education, volunteering in their classrooms, and leading the Art Docent program at their school. I am a Certified Yoga Teacher having studied Viniyoga at Whole Life Yoga in 2013 and have been sharing movement and mindfulness with kids and adults since then.

 

I make time for a workout every day. I am passionate about fitness and healthy food and how they contribute to our emotional and mental wellbeing.

COLBY BIESHEUVEL

Teacher

Hi there, my name is Colby Biesheuvel, and I'm excited to be a new addition to the Nature Together team. 

 

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and I'm happy to be back with the opportunity to teach in the outdoors. I grew up in a fairly small farm town, and spent most of my youth outside playing with neighborhood friends, in the nearby creek, parks, and playgrounds. Camping and hiking are some of my favorite pastimes, especially during the warmer months. 

 

Education is my passion. I graduated from Western Washington University, with a BA in Social Studies. I was a Student Teacher of AP US History and World Cultures, followed by being hired as an AVID Tutor at Mount Vernon High School, while pursuing my ultimate dream of joining the Peace Corps. I was lucky enough to sneak through medical clearance with a tree nut allergy, and was invited to serve in Ethiopia as an English Teacher, from 2017-2019. My primary class in Ethiopia was 9th grade English, but I also taught one day per week at a nearby elementary school. Upon my return from Ethiopia, I was an Emergency Substitute Teacher, for all grade levels, until schools were closed.

 

Growth Mindset is particularly important to me in both education and life. I think we can be much more capable individuals, and as a community, if we apply growth mindset thought processes to our everyday lives and decision making.

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CAROLINE OVERSTREET

Teacher

Hi, my name is Caroline Overstreet and I'm thrilled to be joining Nature Together as a Summer Camp Teacher. I love spending time outdoors and with children, so I'm looking forward to a summer filled with both of those things. 

I was born and raised in Everett, WA, and currently live in Seattle. In 2019, I graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in International Studies and a minor in Spanish. After graduation, I spent a couple months in Ollantaytambo, Peru, interning for a non-profit. While I was there, I realized I wanted to pursue a career in education. Now, I am enrolled in Seattle University's Master in Teaching program and am so excited to begin my work in this field. 

I love to travel because I enjoy meeting new people and getting to know what life is like in different parts of the world. I also love being outdoors and breathing in the fresh air, whether that is at the park or in the mountains. My other passions include reading, running, and learning about new things. 

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AMBER DOUGLAS

Teacher

Hi, my name is Amber Douglas. I am thrilled to be joining the Nature Together Team. I grew up playing in the forest surrounding my house. Those were my fondest memories and I want my children and others to be able to have those same experiences. 

 

I currently live in Bothell with my husband, two girls (3) & (6) and our cat Bentley. I served on my daughter's preschool co-op board and currently manage the office at a local community pool as well as serve as an executive assistant for a mental health clinic. 

 

I find being out in nature is calming and allows students to use their creativity. I look forward to our explorations  and can’t wait to see what the students come up with next. 

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SUSAN MAYS

Teacher

Hi, my name is Susan Mays and I am excited to be joining the Nature Together program as a substitute teacher.

 

I was born and raised on Whidbey Island and have lived in the area most of my life. I now have the privilege of raising my own children (Indie and Lincoln) with my husband Adrian here in Mukilteo and I couldn’t be more grateful. I love the Pacific Northwest and all it has to offer – especially the forests and beaches where you can find us spending part of almost every day.

 

I have a degree in sociology from Seattle Pacific University and spent years working outside the home, but now enjoy getting to spend most of my time with our littles. I also love spending time doing volunteer work for a few local non-profits, running and being active, and exploring new places with my family. I’m looking forward to getting to know you and your child!

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ALYSSA BURROWS

Teacher

Hello, my name is Alyssa Burrows and I am delighted to be joining the Nature Together team. 

 

I grew up in Sonoma County, California, and moved to Mukilteo in 2021. I have thoroughly enjoyed experiencing all of the biodiversity western Washington has to offer, and tide-pooling has become one of my favorite hobbies.

 

I graduated from the Santa Rosa Junior College with a degree in Natural Sciences and I am currently attending Cascadia College’s Bachelors of Applied Science - Sustainable Practices program. I discovered my passion for education while teaching horseback riding, and continued connecting children with nature while working with San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden. Outdoor experiences play such an important role in enriching children’s education and appreciation of their community’s environment - I’m so excited to be a part of that with Nature Together! 

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DARLA BAUER

Teacher

Hi my name is Darla Bauer and I am thrilled to work with the elementary class.

 

I grew up exploring the pacific northwest and a formative experience the summer my dad was in the Forest Service cemented my love of the outdoors.

 

I spent 15 years building a career based on leadership training for adults with a bachelors degree in Liberal Arts and a masters in International Business. Having (4) kids of my own has shifted my focus to early childhood education.

 

In our family we learn about the world around us through the rhythms of each season. My kids have participated in the 1000 hours Outside challenge annually since 2019. We also love the Exploring Nature with Children guide.

 

Nature walks and bike rides have been a saving grace during the last few years and have led to a deep appreciation for the community of Mukilteo. 

 

Thank you for this opportunity to explore alongside each student. I know we will learn and grow together.