Get To Know Us

Administration

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Shannon O.

Founder & Executive Director

An Early Intervention Specialist, Shannon believes learning isn't just measured by simple outcomes, but by the "process" in which  learning is retained. Her desire to foster her students' innate love and curiosity for the world led to the founding of The Native School.

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Niki P.

Brand Manager

Niki has a passion for supporting students and families in their growth and learning journey. With a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and pursuing her Master's of Social Work, she is able to cater to the needs of the Native School community in a way that is client-centered, solution-focused, and empowerment based. As a previous co-teacher at the Native School, she is now working behind the scenes to capture the unique “Native School Moments” that are the beating heart of our school and sharing them with the larger community of the virtual world.

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Amber D.

Administrative Director

An eternal optimist, Amber believes in lifting spirits through knowledge. She holds multiple business degrees and is experienced in operations management. As a Licensed Foster Parent and Youth Mentor, Amber believes that children should have a solid foundation rooted in outdoor learning, gaining an innate ability to enjoy the beauty of life.

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Ms. Kristine

Administrative Assistant &
Piccola Co-Teacher

With a degree in Business Administration from SDSU, and years of experience working with children, Kristine brings a special skill set to our outdoor program. Her logistics team oversight means she knows how to 'get it done', but her heart for nature and working with children led her to The Native School. You'll see Kristine out in the field supporting our classes. 

Teaching Team

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Ms. Rose

Kinder Lead Teacher

Rose is a certificated K-8 teacher with a kindergarten teaching background. Her knowledge of teaching methodology combined with a love of the natural world helps her plan educational opportunities that are mindful of both. She is passionate about giving students the tools they need for success while still creating space for wonder, laughter and play.

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Ms. Andrea

Kinder Teacher

A graduate of UC Santa Barbara with a BS in Aquatic Biology and minor in K8 Science & Math, Andrea brings a unique blend of specialized knowledge to Native School. She also has extensive experience in the classroom with young children. Above all, her goal is to inspire and contribute to student's interest in the natural world that surrounds us.

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Ms. Emily

Piccola Supervising Lead Teacher

Emily has extensive experience leading young children. From Girl Scouts to multiple years as Childcare Director at YMCA, she continues to follow her passion in guiding young minds. She graduated Cal Poly Summa Cum Laude with a BA in English Language and Literature/Letters. A skilled leader, Emily is excited to bring her life skills and enthusiasm for the outdoors to our classes!

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Ms. Lizzie

Piccola Teacher

Elisabetta (aka Ms. Lizzie) is first-generation Italian and speaks three languages. She attended La Scuola Primaria Maria Montessori in Perugia, Italy. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Santa Clara University where she also minored in Public Health and Communication. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, she had the great outdoors as her playground and grew up with movement and nature as the guiding force of light in her life. Nature and her connection to it are the most important values she holds. Elisabetta is also an artist, and recently earned a certificate in Therapeutic Art Coaching. She is passionate about Art Therapy, Nature Therapy, and Play Therapy and believes resilience is cultivated through a growth mindset. She has a depth of experience working with both neurodivergent and neurotypical children. Miss Lizzie is thrilled to validate the rich, complex inner lives of the young adventurers of The Native School.

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Ms. Nikki

Kinder Lead Teacher

Nikki is a certificated K-8 teacher with an elementary teaching background. She holds a BS in Elementary Education, with a minor in Human Development and Family Studies. She is also a lifestyle photographer, a mom of two amazing kids and has a true love for children and the outdoors.  

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Ms. Kim

Kinder Teacher

Ms. Kim started her career in a Montessori school and quickly moved her way into Reggio. She has studied both approaches and value the learning journey in a Reggio inspired school environment. The magic of early childhood excites her and gets her up and going in the morning. She grew up on 5 acres in Ramona. This created a love of nature and a need to share the wonder of the great outdoors with all her students. Her greatest value is instilling a love and respect for nature in everyone she is close with. 

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Ms. Evelyn

Lead Piccola Teacher

Evelyn is pursuing studies in Environmental Studies and Early Childhood Education. She has worked for The Native School for over 3 years  and loves working with young children and guiding young hearts and minds, with a patient and loving heart. 

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Ms. Lauren

Piccola Teacher

Lauren has a long history of working and volunteering with kids. She graduated Cum Laude from New York University with a BA in English & American Literature and Creative Writing. She began her career in publishing before pursuing an opportunity to teach in a bilingual primary school in Spain, where she discovered a passion for empowering children and ensuring they never lose sight of the magic they enter this world with. She hopes to honor the innate wisdom in children, foster their expansion into their truest selves, and reframe education so that all types of students develop a passion for learning. A student of herbalism, she strives to be a loyal steward of the earth. She believes that fostering a deep love for the earth in kids not only benefits their mental wellness, but also ensures that our home planet will be better cared for by future generations. She speaks English and Spanish.

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Mrs. Emma

Piccola Teacher

Emma (she/her) has a over two years of experience working in preschools that followed the Reggio Emilia philosophy. She believes that the first 5 years of a child’s life are the most crucial and that being outdoors has countless benefits in supporting a child’s overall development. Emma grew up in San Clemente, CA, where she spent most of her childhood in the ocean and fostered a love and respect for nature. Emma graduated Summa Cum Laude with her B.S. in Early Education and Care with a minor in Sociology from Salem State University in Massachusetts. She has a passion for working with young children and works to create a loving, safe, and autonomous environment where children can grow.

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Ms. Baylee

Graduate Intern

Baylee is a graduate student at San Diego State University studying child and family development. She developed her knowledge in outdoor education through experience by working at a Surf camp and other summer camps around the world. She is also a huge fan of the water and has a different approach to teaching from teaching swim lessons for the last 6 years.

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Mr. George

Graduate Intern

George is currently attending San Diego State University for my masters degree. He has a Bachelors from San Jose State University, and an Associates from San Diego Mesa Community College in Child and Adolescent Development. George enjoys learning and exploring nature with children as he has 5 years of experience in early childhood development. He looks to be a child Interventionist in his long term career.