Waskowitz Outdoor School Staff

Dr. Roberta McFarland, Director/Principal

Phone:

Email: roberta.mcfarland@highlineschools.org

Degrees and Certifications:

Dr. Roberta McFarland, Director/Principal

Dr. McFarland serves as the Director/Principal of Outdoor Environmental Education for Waskowitz Outdoor Programs since 1997. An innovator and educational entrepreneur she leads her staff in developing programs that motivate students to find the ‘magic’ by engaging on a diversity journey of people and nature. Her favorite place at Waskowitz is finding a warm rock by the south fork of the Snoqualmie River near the campfire amphitheater.

Roberta served for 35 years as a residential outdoor environmental educator. Starting in a tent with students and currently in an office with a fireplace. College degrees from the east coast (Springfield College) to the west coast (City University of Seattle) and several in-between (Sam Houston and Stephen F Austin). Educational Doctorate in curriculum, instruction, and assessment.  Proudly admits to being a naturalized Northwesterner as a coffee afficionato and hiking enthusiast. Her career started with the Houston TX Outdoor Education Center programs in 1979; however, some argue she started year one- as the youngest staff at the Boy Scout Camp Mohican. 

 Carey Gannaw, Office Manager

Phone:

Email: Carey.Gannaw@highlineschools.org

Degrees and Certifications:

Carey Gannaw, Office Manager

Carey Gannaw is the Office Manager for Waskowitz and WELS. Born and raised in Seattle, she attended Evergreen High School and then Highline Community College majoring in Early Childhood Education. Prior to joining Highline School District 19 years ago, she worked at a bank, owned a small painting business, and taught pre-school. She helped enroll students when the WELS program began and then continued to watch the success and growth of the program over the years. She officially joined the Waskowitz staff in July 2013 as the Office Manager. She loves learning how Waskowitz and WELS work and expand every year; and feels that her computer and administration skills are an asset to the office team. She enjoys being able to support the students and staff while working and learning something wonderful each day; Waskowitz is her perfect job!

When not in the office she bikes, walks her German Shephard, reads, hikes and plans for the next vacation. She loves spending time with her husband, daughters and their spouses and two granddaughters.

 Johnny Gannaw, Assistant Director/Resident Manager

Phone:

Email: John.Gannaw@highlineschools.org

Degrees and Certifications:

Johnny Gannaw, Assistant Director/Resident Manager

Johnny has been involved at Camp Waskowitz since 2004.  His initial involvement was as a volunteer through the Kent Parks & Recreation summer program.  Each summer, Johnny would dedicate time working with youth to build up social skils as well as just getting them outdoors to enjoy themselves. Since 2010, Johnny has been a full time staff member serving in several different roles at the Outdoor School. He has been the high school leader coordinator, a teacher in the WELS program, and now serves as the Dean of Student Success, connecting Waskowitz programs with the Highline School District vision and mission. Being a product himself of quality experiential education as a sixth grader, high school leader, and staff member, Johnny consistently connects the power of camp to all components of his career.

Johnny graduated Green River Community College in 2006 with his AA degree and then from the University of Redlands in Southern California in 2008 with his Bachelor's degree. As an undergraduate student, Johnny was heavily involved in campus clubs and organizations as well as student government. On his free time he enjoys long walks on the beach and listening to smooth jazz.

 

 Meredith von Trapp, Assistant Director/Dean of Environmental Education

Phone:

Email: Meredith.VonTrapp@highlineschools.org

Degrees and Certifications:

Meredith von Trapp, Assistant Director/Dean of Environmental Education

Meredith von Trapp received her undergraduate degree in Environmental Education from Western Washington University in 2000 and then traveled to Colorado, Oregon and Alaska working a variety of jobs in the field like backcountry field instructor for adjudicated youth, SCA volunteer Ranger in Katmai National Park and Waskowitz Naturalist! After working as a Naturalist for 3 years she earned her Master’s in Teaching from City University in Bellevue. For the next ten years, she taught 5th grade at North Bend Elementary and infused her passion for the environment by creating and facilitating staff and student green teams, taking her students on walking field trips to the Snoqualmie River and leading the 5th graders on their annual trip to outdoor school. She has returned to Waskowitz as a National Board Certified Teacher and is beyond thrilled to support teachers in their magical journey helping students explore the diversity of people and nature. She hopes to inspire students to be life-long learners and responsible stewards of their community and the planet as a whole. In her spare time, she can be found exploring the trails with her family, baking yummy treats or reading a good book!

 Jacob Belsher, Program Coordinator

Phone:

Email: jacob.belsher@highlineschools.org

Degrees and Certifications:

Jacob Belsher, Program Coordinator

Jacob is a passionate educator with so much drive and dedication to the trade. We are excited to see him excel in his role here as Program Coordinator. Jacob has recently worked in a similar role at a camp in California. He is eager to return back to his native Pacific Northwest roots, and join the new Waskowitz team.  Jacob sees Outdoor Education as a combination of his deep love of the natural world with a lifelong interest in teaching and learning. He finds ways to incorporate his humor with his intellect. For example, he is an avid believer that “baby carrots” are not actual baby carrots, as well as the Credence Clearwater Revival isn’t from the south… want to know more, Jacob will fill you in!

 Emilie Rigby, Lead Outdoor Educator

Phone:

Email: emilie.rigby@highlineschools.org

Degrees and Certifications:

Emilie Rigby, Lead Outdoor Educator

Emilie comes to us with a BS Degree in Environmental Science with a concentration in Watershed Science. She has recently been working as an instructor at the Sargent Center for Outdoor Education in Hancock, NH. She has a strong interest in limnology and forest ecology. Her outdoor experience stems out to backpacking, kayaking and wilderness survival.  She sees Outdoor Education as a way to play in the woods while sharing her love of nature with young people. She sees the importance of allowing nature to be your teacher! Emilie is a very talented young woman, with talents ranging from storytelling to wood carving! 

 Sammy Porter, Outdoor Educator

Phone:

Email: Samantha.Faust@highlineschools.org

Degrees and Certifications:

Sammy Porter, Outdoor Educator

Sammy is finally joining the Waskowitz team as a full time staff member after several years of serving in many capacities. This includes summer camp volunteering, leadership staff, an internship, and ROOTS program support.  Joining the team with her BS in Recreation & Tourism, Sammy brings a sense of place and a lot of positive energy to the team! She has served in several recreation program roles and is now excited to join the Outdoor Ed team because she is very attracted to the challenges and growth that it promotes. She is a passionate hiker, and prides herself on her PCT adventure where she lived outside for three months, walked 1,200 miles, and ate 2-3 candy bars a day. Welcome Home Sammy!

 Josh Porter, Outdoor Educator

Phone:

Email: joshua.porter@highlineschools.org

Degrees and Certifications:

Josh Porter, Outdoor Educator

Josh comes to Waskowitz with a BA in History and nearly a completed teaching certificate. He is a very intelligent young man with a passion for teaching as well as learning- a perfect fit for an Outdoor Educator! Josh has known since early in high school that he wanted to pursue a career in education. Seeing that he loves the outdoors, he is thrilled about interacting with students outside of the traditional classroom setting. He is an avid hiker, and excited about all of the trails North Bend offers.

 Marc Bautista, Outdoor Educator

Phone:

Email: O-Marc.Bautista@highlineschools.org

Degrees and Certifications:

Marc Bautista, Outdoor Educator

Marc Bautista is walking proof of the success Waskowitz programs brings to our community. He was a WELS student, college intern, and has just completed a year working in the schools as an Americorps Success Coach. He brings a lot of passion, energy, and fun to our team.  He has used his experiences within the Waskowitz programs to create a lifestyle of serving others through education, motivation, and a lot of laughter.  Marc is very excited to live at Waskowitz once again and connect deeper to nature in his new role. Given the opportunity, Marc may share with you his other talents of graffiti art and breakdancing.  

 Alane Gacad, Outdoor Educator

Phone:

Email: alane.gacad@highlineschools.org

Degrees and Certifications:

Alane Gacad, Outdoor Educator

Alane joins the team with limited experience working in the outdoors, but tons of experience motivating and leading others! With her BS in Business Administration and a lot of tech experience, Alane took a leap of faith, trusted her instincts and changed her career to do something geared towards serving her community. Alane is excited to come back to the PNW and take on her new role as an Outdoor Educator.  She is a natural born leader with a true gift of brightening up someone’s day and being extremely reliable and enthusiastic. We see her as a strong addition to the Waskowitz team.  She’s a dedicated cook who loves sushi and chicken wings!

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 Ana Romero, College Intern

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Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Ana Romero, College Intern

Ana is excited to join the Waskowitz team for many reasons. She has a passion for the program based on her experience as a One Week Leader, as well as a WELS student. In addition, Ana also sees herself pursuing a career in the field of Outdoor Education. Therefore, the idea of being at camp as an intern, as well as joining the Bellevue College Wilderness Skills Certificate Program, really excited Ana. She brings a lot of positive energy and connection to our students. We are excited to see Ana learn and grow in her new role here.

WELS Staff

 Bennett Kling, WELS Classic Teacher

Phone:

Email: Bennett.Kling@highlineschools.org

Degrees and Certifications:

Bennett Kling, WELS Classic Teacher

Bennett Kling has been helping WELS students become stronger mathematicians since 2013.  After studying Economics at Willamette University, he returned to his native city of Seattle.  Bennett enjoys taking advantage of the wilderness opportunities around the Pacific Northwest including hiking, camping, biking, and skiing, including a 500 mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail from Oregon to Canada.  After deciding to become a teacher, Bennett attended the UW’s teaching program and has been at WELS ever since.  He enjoys the opportunity to teach real-world math in his Financial Algebra class and the relationships formed in small classes at WELS.

 Jordan Kimmerly, WELS Classic Teacher

Phone:

Email: Jordan.Kimmerly@highlineschools.org

Degrees and Certifications:

Jordan Kimmerly, WELS Classic Teacher

Jordan received her B.A. in education from Western Washington University and her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction through Penn State University. She's currently the CTE Teaching Academy and Advanced Placement Environmental Science teacher for the classic Waskowitz Environmental Leadership School program. This is her 5th year teaching in the Highline School District and Waskowitz continues to be her favorite place in the district. Her love of experiential education and outdoor recreation have also led her to work with the local nonprofit Youth Experiential Training Institute (Y.E.T.I.) as the education director and a volunteer guide. She is a certified Wilderness First Responder and has trained in instructor development through Outward Bound.

 Caroline Lauka, WELS Junior Teacher

Phone:

Email: Caroline.Lauka@highlineschools.org

Degrees and Certifications:

Caroline Lauka, WELS Junior Teacher

After earning her M.A.T. from the University of Puget Sound, Caroline Lauka became part of the WELS program to teach social studies and lead the Junior Year Program. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Caroline first migrated down to the University of Oregon (Go Ducks!) to obtain concurrent degrees in Social Studies and Educational Foundations. In between her educational experiences, Caroline spent time tutoring student-athletes, working as a day-camp counselor, and exploring the Pacific Northwest. She is dedicated to helping students take ownership of their own learning through inquiry-based curriculum. In her free time Caroline enjoys watching compelling documentaries, building things with her hands, and consuming luxurious cuisine.

 Michaela Reynolds, WELS Jr Teacher

Phone:

Email: michaela.reynolds@highlineschools.org

Degrees and Certifications:

Michaela Reynolds, WELS Jr Teacher

After growing up in small-town Kansas, Michaela packed her bags for Houston, Texas where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Rice University and spent two years teaching secondary math and science at Chinquapin Preparatory. Looking to experience another part of the country, Michaela then traveled to Seattle, serving with AmeriCorps at Garfield High School and working toward her Masters of Education at the University of Washington. Joining the Highline School District this year, Michaela is thrilled to partner with students and families as the geometry teacher and testing coordinator for the WELS Junior Year Program. She is committed to curriculum and teaching practices that are engaging and relevant. In her free time, Michaela enjoys the beauty of the Pacific Northwest while running, hiking, and biking.

 Tim Hall, WELS Senior Teacher

Phone:

Email: Timothy.Hall@highlineschools.org

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Tim Hall, WELS Senior Teacher

Tim began working in outdoor education in 2001.  The transformational power of team building and facing challenges in the outdoors was an immediate hook.  Seeing underserved populations of students discover their strength motivated him to continue this work.  He began at Waskowitz in 2004 as an Americorps volunteer.  He found his dream job at Waskowitz in the combination of outdoor education, academic study, and a relationship based approach.  Tim aspires to teach his students responsibility, hard work, curiosity, and deep empathy.  As a lead teacher in WELS, he hopes it can be a model for the potential of Innovative Schools and experiential education. In his free time Tim explores the outdoors through skiing and hiking.



 Debbie Lindsay, Success Dean/WELS Inclusion Teacher

Phone:

Email: Deborah.Lindsay@highlineschools.org

Degrees and Certifications:

Debbie Lindsay, Success Dean/WELS Inclusion Teacher

Debbie has taught Special Education since 2009 after receiving her teacher’s certification through the state Alternate Route program via Central Washington University.  She has taught Special Education in middle school and high school in Ellensburg before moving to Tacoma.  She's currently finishing her Master’s in ELL thru Western Governor’s University.  Before her teacher life, she was a tax accountant and a small business owner. She loves to travel and see historic places. She also enjoys sewing, quilting and reading – but most of all, she loves being a wife, mom, and grandma!  She and her husband have 4 children and 4 grandchildren!

 Yedda Hay, Waskowitz Host

Phone:

Email: Yedda.Hay@highlineschools.org

Degrees and Certifications:

Yedda Hay, Waskowitz Host

Yedda Hay was born in Seattle, Washington and started her outdoor education career as a high school leader from 1991-1994. She has worked at Waskowitz Outdoor School, and the Highline school district off and on since 1996. She studied music education at Highline Community College and Seattle Pacific University. Yedda is a highly skilled facilitator and has been a WSU Trained 4-H certified facilitator for over 10 years. She is trained in Arts based facilitation which she incorporates in her leadership skills as Residential Program Leader and she has worked as a contracted artist with Power Of Hope.

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