I am honored and excited to be a part of Mixed Greens, a real-life dream come true, and a place of love, peace, and learning for children and grown-ups alike! To learn more about me and our beginnings, please visit the Director tab in the About menu.
Atelierista & Teacher: Mirabai Simon
My name is Mirabai Simon, and I am ecstatic to be working at Mixed Greens! While finishing up my Associates in Child Development at Santa Rosa Junior College, I look forward to spending time with such a dynamic group of young ones and teachers! With over fifteen years of childcare experience, ranging from babysitting to working in a formal preschool setting, I am also a proud member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and am constantly seeking to further my knowledge of child development.
Formerly working as a graphic designer in NYC, I have recently returned to my native state, as well as to my true calling: working with young children. I hope to integrate my art education from Pratt Institute, as well as my more recent Reggio Emilia Altelierista training through the Innovative Teacher Project, into Mixed Greens’ diverse array of activities.
Teacher: Allyson Madrid
Hi, My name is Allyson Madrid and I am so happy to be a part of the Mixed Greens community! I look forward to learning and growing as a teacher alongside the amazing Mixed Greens staff. I have 24 units of Early Childhood Education from Santa Rosa Junior College and am currently working towards my AA in Child Development. I have years of experience working with children in different settings, as a nanny, daycare and in a formal preschool. Children inspire me in so many ways, their curiosity and natural thirst for knowledge are so apparent in these early years that I am honored to be a part of, fostering a lifetime love of learning! I am also a proud mother of two little boys, River and Nico. Being a mother has taught me more about patience and love then I had ever imagined. I am so thankful to be a part of Mixed Greens, it feels meant to be!
Teacher & Karate Specialist: Alejandro Quenta
Hello, my name is Alejandro Quenta, and I am so happy to be at Mixed Greens! I am originally from Argentina and I started practicing Martial Arts at the early age of 7, when the doctor told my mother that I needed an active outlet. I earned my black belt at the age of 15 and soon went on to teaching younger children.
I moved to the United States in 2001 and continued to pursue my other passion of photography. Through photography, I maintain a vital connection to the energy of the real world, found in the joy of people, especially children. I love sharing with the children the skills and self-control that have helped me so much in my life. I love to teach kids that with discipline and persistence, they can accomplish anything they set their mind to. It has been a dream of mine for many years to teach Karate to children…I am so happy that Mixed Greens gave me the opportunity!
My work with the kids of Mixed Greens inspired me so much that I am now working towards a Child Development degree at Santa Rosa Junior College, and have progressed from being only the Karate instructor to a full-time teacher here as well!
Organic Gardening Teacher: Danielle Koepke
My name is Danielle Koepke and I couldn’t be happier to be the new Organic Gardening teacher at Mixed Greens! My son Kaya is 4 and this will be his last year at Mixed Greens! How lucky am I to be able to do what I love and spend time with my son!
After a few years of attending traditional college, I decided to pursue my interest in farming. I worked on organic farms primarily in the states of Washington, Colorado and Wisconsin. With the concept in mind of wanting to get back to our roots and use food as medicine to nourish & heal, I moved back to Colorado. There I attended Seven Bowls School of Nutrition, Nourishment and Integrative Medicine. Throughout my journeys there was one thing I kept coming back to… children. My dream is to bring farm to table into our school systems. I have high hopes that in the future my dream will become a reality and influence our generations to come.
I am so passionate about working outside and with the earth. I am excited to blend my schooling & experiences and share with our children what has been passed down to me. What I am most excited about is being a part of our children’s own gardening discoveries through using their five senses and witnessing their ah-ha moments. Mixed Greens has such an incredible, supportive community and I feel blessed to be able to spend time with our bright-eyed children that I have grown to know… Not only teaching, but learning as well!
As one five-year-old put it, I was “born in English” and raised in a Mexican neighborhood in North Lake Tahoe. My passion for the nuances of the Spanish language and its diverse cultures led me to be the first in my family to have revived the language of my Spanish heritage. As a teacher of Spanish, since 1999, (and English for speakers of other languages) I have always held the intention of building bridges of connection, understanding and community in the world.
I first discovered my innate ability to care for and work with little ones when I was eight with the birth of my baby sister. Since then, I have always worked with babies, toddlers, children and youth, and they have always been my greatest teachers and my deepest joy.
While my formal education has granted me my credentials (Humboldt State University, Sacramento State University, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Humacao, Secretaria de Educación Pública and the Sistema Tecnológico de Monterrey, Querétaro, México), I have been blessed to study, live and travel throughout Latin America and Spain, to form personal relationships with the people and the land that inspires my work.
I teach through music, dance, theatre, poetry and play, incorporating the natural rhythms of life to support authentic language acquisition and cultural competency. It is a delight to share in the joy of the Spanish language with the children and staff at Mixed Greens!
Hannah Jern-Miller has been bringing her sultry blend of folk, blues, and vintage rock music to her native Sonoma County for nearly 15 years. Born into a musical family, singing songs around the piano was a way of life. After learning how to play piano and flute as a child, she took up the guitar as a teenager and quickly gained recognition as a songwriter. Hannah has also taught private guitar and voice lessons to children and adults. Working with children has always come naturally to her, as she grew up doing childcare for many families and also doing private tutoring. She is excited at the opportunity to teach Mini Music classes, and continues to perform around the county at local venues and private events.
For more information on Hannah’s upcoming gigs:
My name is Amy Hudgens, and I am the Nutritional Consultant for Mixed Greens and two other local preschools. I am honored and excited to announce a new program that we will be starting here the first week of May 2012. Mixed Greens has agreed to be the Pilot school for my Nutrition Program for Preschoolers called Rainbow Greens! I will beteaching this program at Mixed Greens the first Monday and Tuesday of every month. I am also a mother of a toddler and know how busy life can get and how important it is to stay nourished inside and out. I am grateful that my dreams and visions are finally coming alive with the start up of Rainbow Greens! Rainbow Greens was developed with the intention of making learning about nutrition fun and educational for the kids. I want to keep it simple with a huge focus on organic whole foods, short fun educational lessons, and little cooking demos. I will also be providing parents with 2 free cooking classes per calendar year so that the whole family can be involved. Also, with every monthly ½ hour lesson, each child with get a card with “health tips” or a nourishing recipe on it to share with their family. I am so excited to start this program. Thanks to Mixed Greens for helping so much get this program started! Be Well, Amy Hudgens
Substitute Teacher: Jackie Williams
My name is Jackie Williams and I’m super excited to be able to be a part of such an amazing place! I graduated from Florida State University Spring of 2011. I have a Bachelor’s of Science in Family and Child Sciences with a minor in Communications.
I was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and grew up there until I went to college in Tallahassee. After graduation, I joined Americorps and set out to California to run an after school program at a local elementary school. I’ve done this for the past year, and will continue with my second year this Fall.
My two greatest passions in life are children and animals, and I hope to one day have a life-long career involving both. While at FSU, I founded and ran an organization called Students Speaking for Animals. We spent most of our time volunteering at local shelters and raising money and donations for them. I also spent a lot of time fostering animals. Through this wonderful experience, I found Sadie. She was abandoned on the street and I rescued her. She became my little girl instantly and she made the big move weith me out west. Once here, I had her certified as a service dog and she comes to the elementary school where I work everyday. The kids absolutely love her, and she loves them!
Besides working for Americorps, and Mixed Greens, I recently got a job at Starbucks. If I’m not at any of my jobs, or spending time with Sadie, I am volunteering at Equi-Ed. It’s a wonderful program that provides therapuetic riding for people with disabilities. I help the students during riding lessons, as well as care for the horses when they aren’t working.
I absolutely love Mixed Greens, all of the students, as well as the staff! This is such a great opportunity for me and I’m so grateful to be a part of such an amazing family!
Substitute Teacher : Stacey Jacobson
My name is Stacey Jacobson and I am currently working on my Associates in Child Development at Santa Rosa Junior College. I am passionate about working with children, and have always been fascinated by watching children learn through play. In addition to fifteen years of babysitting, I have six years of retail management experience, which helped sharpen my patience, professionalism and consistency. Additionally, I am experienced with children of all ages, and accomplished at teaching crafts and finding out what interests each child.
I had been interested in learning more about child development before having my son, but after his birth, I became fascinated with the subject. It is such a joy to be able to see him grow and learn. My ongoing educational pursuits and life experience have made me realize how much I enjoy working with children. While working at Mixed Greens, I plan to learn as much from the children as they will learn from me. I share my time between mothering, Mixed Greens, and being a Foster Parent to children in need.