Owner and Lead 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.
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.
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.
Yoga Instructor and Substitute Teacher
Hello! My name is Cara Mothersbaugh and I am excited to assist Kris in her Nature Together program. I think it is essential that children spend time in the outdoors exploring and learning through experience.
I grew up in Poulsbo, Washington, and have lived in Mukilteo since 2016. My husband and I welcomed our little boy into our lives in 2016 as well.
Before I had my son, I worked at an alternative school in Renton teaching science to high school students. I taught biology, Earth/Physical science, as well as a class I developed called Sustainable Science which was focused on environmental challenges. Because I worked in an alternative school, I was able to work with small groups of students and tailor classes to their needs. This was both a pleasure and a challenge. I also have experience with middle school and elementary students as a student teacher and summer camp teacher.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Washington. While at UW, I was able to work in a lab studying army ant genetics. This was an interesting and eye-opening experience that taught me I did not want a career in a lab but rather working with young people. I went on to complete my Master’s in Teaching at the UW as well. The teaching program at UW provided the opportunity to work in many different schools around the Puget Sound region. This helped me gain an understanding of the many challenges schools in our area face and helped me develop tools to help meet those needs.
In February 2019, I completed a yoga teacher training program. This was an amazing experience both personally and professionally. I am enjoying practicing teaching in a new context and with some new tools in my tool belt.
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!