MEET OUR TEAM
Director & Lead Educator
Megan Dusablon grew up in Vermont and cherishes her memories of playing outside with her siblings and neighborhood friends making mud donuts, climbing trees, drawing, and swimming. Growing up her family cared for many creatures, sparking her fascination with animals large and small. It is on and off trails, crossing creeks and playing in the snow in Vermont where her nature connection began. Megan believes that these early outdoor experiences are crucial in developing a connection to nature and a lasting love for the Earth. Outside, children are free to explore their imaginations and challenge their physical capabilities, building confidence, creativity, and resilience. Megan has worked with children and their families since 2006. She received a BFA from Lesley University where she studied printmaking. She moved to San Francisco in 2008 and attained her Early Childhood Education credentials. After working as an atelierista (art studio teacher) in a Reggio-inspired school, Megan was immediately drawn to the approach and philosophy of Reggio Emilia: holding the child at the center of learning.
Angela Ross grew up on the East Coast and has lived in the Bay Area since 2009. Her true passion is planning and organizing anything – from the mundane to the extraordinary. She also loves traveling, swimming, camping, and being at the beach. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from NYU and a Nutrition Consultant Certification from Bauman College in Berkeley. She has worked as a Tour Manager for international orchestras, an Event Manager for corporate events across Australia, Asia, and India, an Administrative & Marketing Manager for an eco-resort in Belize, and operated her own business as a Nutrition & Wellness Coach for eight years. In 2016, she was introduced to Parks Plus Creation after joining a Chickadee Class with her son, she has been obsessed ever since! Since 2018, it has been her pleasure to share her organizational and administrative skills with the Parks Plus Creation team to help manage their programs and assist families as they learn about the wonders of forest school.
Kristyn Lum was born and raised in San Francisco and has a deep affinity for play-based learning and outdoor exploration. From some of her earliest memories of camping and climbing, fort building, tending to her garden, digging for “fossils” at the park and collecting treasures at the beach, she feels fortunate to have been able to experience the many opportunities for risk-taking, wonder, and independence that nature so graciously provides. She graduated from San Diego State University with a B.S. in Child and Family Development. Throughout her time at SDSU, she had the pleasure of being able to incorporate some of her passions in life with her work out in the field—from teaching youth about environmental conservation at the Water Conservation Garden to promoting local resources that strengthen resilient families and communities with the San Diego Trauma Informed Guide Team. She hopes to create safe and conducive environments that model education as it fits the individual and believes that there is no single approach for every person. She continues to be inspired by children’s curiosity and wonder, and maintains the notion that what makes an individual unique is also what makes our society whole. When she’s not directly working with children and families, she can still be found camping and climbing, fort building, tending to her garden, digging for “fossils” at the park and collecting treasures at the beach.
Sarah Tomkins was born in Swindon, England and moved with her family to Los Gatos, California when she was 3 years old. She feels lucky to have grown up in two very different landscapes, spending her childhood exploring the beaches and mountains of the California coast as well as enjoying summers back in England playing in the fields and streams of the countryside. Sarah moved to San Francisco 10 years ago and is so grateful to call this beautiful city home. She obtained a B.A. in Child and Adolescent Development with an emphasis on Early Childhood Education from San Francisco State University in 2016. She has worked with young children in various environments, including with Jumpstart for Young Children, as both an Au Pair and Nanny for many families, and as a Preschool Teacher at a play-based center in Bernal Heights. After taking some time to travel and work abroad, Sarah realized the positive impact of following our natural instinct to explore and couldn’t be happier to have the outdoors as her new classroom. Sarah is passionate about forming meaningful relationships with children and aims to guide their learning through play. She loves the infinite possibilities outdoor education provides for them!
Rahma was born in Virginia then moved to Hawaii when they were 10 years old. The change from colorful seasons to the sandy shores of O’ahu opened their eyes to the diversity of flora and fauna. Rahma enjoyed her time outside riding bikes in the forest, hiking muddy waterfalls, and playing in the surf. Learning about the environment as a child sparked their interest in working in education and conservation. In 2016 Rahma moved to San Francisco to pursue their education and graduated in 2020 with a BA in Environmental Studies. Along the way, Rahma has worked with children as a tutor, mentor, and support staff at schools all over San Francisco. Working with diverse groups of children, Rahma has learned much about racial justice and trauma, and as an educator they hope to inspire in children an excitement and deep appreciation for nature.
Mark (all pronouns welcome)
Community & Care Liaison, and Aftercare Educator
Mark Samples was born and raised in Southern California, spending every moment he could on the beaches of San Diego, in the mountains of San Bernardino, or anywhere he could find a lake and someone to take him water skiing. Mark attributes his love of being outside, peaceful and mindful of his surroundings, to the lessons and guidance of his grandparents, who taught him about waves, ropes, outdoor cooking and all things sharp and pointy. In addition to being a Spire School teacher, Mark has been working with children of all ages for most of his adult life in the classroom, at camps, in nonprofit youth development programs, as a member of the US Peace Corps in Panama, and in his home as a full-time parent. Without a doubt, his deepest learnings have come from squatting down, looking into the eyes of children and having chats out in nature. Those moments, feet lodged soundly in the dirt, mud, grass or sand, are where he has found the profound displays of joy, frustration, kindness, sadness and hope that we all aspire to truly feel in this life. In addition, Mark brings with him to Coyote Camp the lessons from his training as a California credentialed teacher, as well as a Masters of Social Work from the School of Social Welfare at UC Berkeley.
Sabrina grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina where she spent afternoons climbing trees with neighborhood friends, exploring tunnels with her sister, and tending to injured birds their cats brought in. Her inclination to explore led Sabrina to Colorado College where she graduated in 2022 with a BA in History. During her time in school, Sabrina served as an environmental educator for elementary school students and received certification from the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education. Her favorite memories from this time include following mice tracks through the snow, birdwatching from sit-spots in aspen groves, and witnessing students’ growth over the semester. Sabrina believes that many of life’s lessons are discovered when observing the little wonders of the world. She is excited to continue observing, playing, and learning alongside children as they build meaningful connections with themselves, others, and the natural world.
Yoseline is a proud chicana, born in Cuernavaca Morelos, Mexico and raised in San Francisco, California. Her earliest memories in the outdoors started with her participation in an afterschool program called Home Away, in which she was exposed to experimental education through various outdoor activities. Her pathway as an outdoor educator has taken her on many journeys of connecting Bay Area school-age youth in the outdoors including as an Outdoor Educator for Outward Bound California and Environmental Traveling Companions. Her passion for the outdoors stems from connecting her community to the outdoors as a form of healing and nurturing. She is currently the first generation in her family to graduate college as she is pursuing her undergraduate in Social Justice and Sociology at Skyline College. On her time off you can find her at the farmers market, biking to the beach, making jewelry, or cooking traditional Mexican food for the people she cares about.
Elías was born and raised in San Francisco, California where they learned to treasure the city’s natural spaces. They began teaching martial arts as an early-teenager. Through this experience they learned the importance of play and motion for very young children as they learn to navigate social interaction. After teaching martial arts, Elías worked as a music teacher for students of all ages. This experience highlighted the power of being accommodating to a student’s needs. Elías was able to focus on student lead learning so that each student could thrive. They have also worked as a land steward tending to California native crops and medicines. Through this work their belief was strengthened that young children should have the opportunity to learn about the native history of the land they play on. Elías' first name is pronounced eh-LEE-ahs, it's three syllables with a strong emphasis on the second syllable. Their last name, Mathus, is pronounced MAH-toos, it's two syllables with an emphasis on the first one, the "th" sound is pronounced as T.
Maya was born and raised in the foothills of Colorado, spending much of her time hiking, biking, and swimming in the creeks. Upon moving to San Francisco a few years ago, she marveled at the beautiful, natural landscape. Surrounded by an ecosystem completely new to her, Maya found herself exploring and embracing it in a way that reminded her of how she felt as a child. She has been working with young children as a professional nanny for over 6 years, in settings spanning dense urban landscapes to vast mountain meadows. She is very passionate about the impact of explorative, outdoor play and knows how much children benefit from connecting with the earth. Maya has also spent many years as a musician and is very appreciative of the impact that music can have on developing minds. She believes that our relationship with nature, art, and culture aids in our connection with each other and how we impact the world around us.
Substitute Support Educator
Niara (NEE-ar-uh) Brown is a herbalist, nature writer, and earth worker from sunny Los Angeles. Growing up a typical city kid, Niara didn’t have many opportunities to play in nature. But they have fond memories of going on camping trips with family friends in middle and high school. Their favorite things to do on these trips would be stargazing, tree climbing, and meditating on top of rocks. They moved to Santa Cruz in 2018 to study agroecology and economics at UC Santa Cruz. After graduating in 2021, they worked at an environmental education nonprofit. While there, they tended to the ¼ acre farm garden, helped manage the native habitat on site, and chaperoned student garden visits. After their graduation ceremony in June 2022, Niara spent a season working on an organic veggie farm in Massachusetts. They returned to California during the Winter of 2022 and have lived in Oakland since then. While living in Oakland, they have worked in landscaping, farmers markets, and grocery coops. Not only do they love cultivating plants, but they also enjoy facilitating deeper connections between plants and people. Through gardening with others, Niara has learned and likes to share that we are all extensions of the natural world. In their free time, you can find Niara reading at a community garden, writing at their local tea shop, or photosynthesizing. They are so thrilled to spend time outside learning with you all!
Resident Equity Consultant
A consultant, Rosalinda Mancillas brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise, over 18 years, with a background in Expanded Learning, Education, Child Development, Psychology, Social Psychology, Advocacy, Educational Leadership, and Critical Race Theory specializing in facilitation and shifting learning cultures using culturally sustaining practices to decolonize education. Rosalinda has worked with private programs, non-profits, school districts, the California Department of Education, The Office of Tribal Affairs, afterschool programs, summer camps, and workforce development programs. Her work spans the state of California from Crescent City to Imperial County, throughout the United States from California to New York, and globally in Mexico, Spain, and Costa Rica.
The daughter of her parents: father, born in East L.A.- his family here before borders existed and crossed them; her mother, born in Palo Alto-her family immigrating from Jalisco and Michoacán, Mexico, Rosalinda is one of four siblings of Lowrider Love. Chicana, Cherokee, and Chiricahua Apache, Rosalinda is from and currently living in Sacramento, CA, SacTown #916, the unceded territory of Indigenous Peoples:
Nisenan, Southern Maidu, Valley and Plains Miwok/ Me-Wuk, Wilton Rancheria, Patwin Wintun: Cachil DeHe Band of Wintun Indians of the Colusa Indian Community, Kletsel Dehe Wintun Nation, and Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation.
Aside from training and curriculum development, Rosalinda's current projects include working with after-school programs and schools to create culturally sustaining policies by identifying and dismantling structures and systems seeded in colonialism, imperialism, and white supremacy. Her future projects include the development of an accredited Identity and Life Skills Class for High School Students, a Story Corps publication/audio of a textbook of inclusive herstory/their story/history, and the opening of Sacramento’s first Hip/Hop pool hall which functions as a community space and Career and Education program highlighting local neighborhood youth. On any given night she can be found at a local billiards cutting the ball or playing a heated game of Lotería with younger cousins.