Julie comes to us after serving that last eight years in the Bay Area as the Garden Manager at Saint Mary’s College of California. She was also a staff member at the Nature Education Center and Garden in Orinda Unified School District, and Nature Activity Coordinator at the Trails to Success summer adventure horse camp. Julie taught a course at Saint Mary’s entitled “Radical Homemaking” which emphasized cooking with produce from the garden. Prior to that, Julie spent fourteen years as a middle school special education teacher, all the while wishing she had a greenhouse for her students. She and her husband also helped start a community garden in their neighborhood. Now they are in the Portland area to be closer to family. Julie is thrilled to be part of the Abernethy Garden of Wonders team helping students connect Science, Math and Language Arts with nature through experiential learning in the garden, plus cooking delicious garden inspired creations and harvest of the month dishes.
Ellen Payne LEAD EDUCATOR, GARDEN AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAM
Ellen is a British American who grew up in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina. She has always had a passion for teaching children and adults ways to live sustainably and with nature in mind. Ellen has worked with youth conservation crews in the Portland Metro area and worked with the city on waste minimization projects. Ellen received a master's degree from Portland State University in Leadership in Sustainability Education and hopes to continue this path as a career. When she's not teaching, Ellen enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest, cultivating her home garden, and hosting a good potluck dinner!
Arielle Solomon Educator's Assistant, GARDEN AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAM
Arielle has worked with students and campers from kindergarten through high school teaching music, gardening, survival skills, and the power of observation and appreciation! She was the Nature Director for two summers at an overnight camp in Wisconsin where she designed and built a new garden and wrote place-based, hands-on curriculum. Since then, she has lived and worked on farms from Connecticut to Israel, all the while learning the value and importance of community and connection. When she isn't playing in the garden, Arielle is a Birth and Postpartum Doula working towards certification. She also loves singing, riding her bike, and playing frisbee, and she is so excited to explore with Abernethy students this year!