Cotati Staff

Director:  Heather Ashton Black

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Site Supervisor/Atelierista (Art Teacher): Jessica Crosier

Hello everyone my name is Jessica Crosier and I am incredibly excited to have the opportunity to grow with the Mixed Greens family as the Site Supervisor at our brand new campus! I was drawn to working with children after my first official job in high school and since that moment, I knew some form of work with children was the career path for me. After high school, I spent a few years at the Santa Rosa Junior College exploring various courses and completing an Associates’s Degree in Elementary School Teaching before transferring to Sonoma State University. There, I completed my B.A. in Early Childhood Studies with a focus on Education. I have been working alongside children since 2011 in various positions, including being an assistant director for a child care facility for five years, and have learned so much from each experience.

This past 2020 school year, I joined Mixed Greens as the Atelierista at our Farmstead campus! I really have enjoyed this position and the opportunity to strengthen my teaching skills and ability to meet the children where they are, providing creative, open explorations to further build on their interests and skills. I’m so incredibly grateful and humbled to now be part of a further extension of the wonderful Mixed Greens family as we continue to build a community of lifelong learners who feel safe and supported in their education journey.

I believe that children are leaders in their own learning and that learning best occurs when it is developed from the child’s interests. Having various materials readily available for open exploration encourages children to express themselves freely and symbolically through various forms of work and play. I am so happy to be a part of the  Mixed Greens family and am looking forward to meeting everyone and getting the chance to grow alongside your little ones!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blossoms Teacher & Environmental Lead:  Cam West

Hello! My name is Cam and I am so excited to be a part of Mixed Greens and the positive impact that it is bringing on our community! My passion for working with children stems from my own past and upbringing, growing up in a big family where every day was taught to be an adventure, there was never a dull moment. My parents encouraged all of us to learn with our hands, interact with nature, and explore the beauty in all cultures, languages and ethnicities. To this day, I watch them help any child in need and I strive to follow their glowing example.  I earned my Early Childhood Education credits at Theoria College, and received my real life ECE training during my years as the Environments Teacher at Mixed Greens, enjoying time at both the OG and Farmstead campuses!

I enjoy the privilege of assisting children in therapeutic horseback riding, and love introducing Mixed Greens kids to animals right in our own backyard. I believe the connection between child and animal plays a vital role in their emotional development, as well as building up a sense of responsibility and trust. Another passion I have is teaching music. Music is the universal language in which anyone, including children, can express themselves in any language or even without having to speak a word. Seeing a child really ‘feel’ music is one of the most rewarding things anyone could ever experience. When I am not outdoors, you can bet I am thinking about when I can be outdoors again! We live in a very high-tech world, so helping a child find the magic within nature is even more so important to me! A few other activities I love teaching and sharing are Archery, Loom crafting, Farm maintenance, and Swedish/Spanish/Vietnamese language learning. I am so happy to be a part of such an inspirational school and team whose goals match my own!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sprouts Teacher & Organic Gardening Lead: Vivian Jacinto

Hola! My name is Vivian Jacinto, I am so excited to be part of Mixed Greens’ growing community as a Garden & Core teacher. I started my work with children almost ten years ago, where I have worked in many different settings from nanny, private centers, and federally funded preschools. While working with children, I received my Bachelors in Early Childhood Education from Sonoma State University. I am here to truly learn and observe alongside the children as we explore what this world has to offer. 

My greatest passion is nature-based teaching where being outdoors teaches us life skills from gardening, cooking, leadership, empathy, creativity, and much more. Nature based Teaching focuses on protection of Earth and our Human System, our goal is just that here at Mixed Greens Shalom, and I am excited to take on the responsibility of our Garden. I have always been an avid gardener; however, when the pandemic hit, my chef partner was out of the kitchen and I was out of the classroom…so we took our food and gardening knowledge and built a No Till, Organic 1/2 acre farm where we continue to grow over 30 different crops for our family and community. With that being said, I am committed to getting us dirty this year and can’t wait to see what our garden here can provide us and our families!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teacher:  Lauren Johnson

Hi, my name is Lauren Johnson and I am so happy to have been a part of the Mixed Greens Family for a few years now! I’m currently completing my Early Childhood Education training at the SRJC and have been taking care of children and infants for over five years. I grew up as the oldest of five children in my family, so I love being around young, imaginative minds. I’ve always wanted to work with children, helping them grow into loving and respectful members of the community and now I get to live my dream. 

Coming from a very artistic family, I love helping children discover their creative side. I have loved music all my life and enjoy playing ukulele and guitar in my free time. On top of that, I enjoy the creative and therapeutic benefits of painting and other mixed media art forms. I consider it a wonderful opportunity to be able to share these passions of mine with children of all ages.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teacher: Tyrrell Salath

Howdy folks! My name’s Tyrrell and I’m super duper excited to be a part of the community here at Mixed Greens. I’m currently enrolled at Santa Rosa Junior College and working on getting my credentials. My experience working with children has been an adventure. Every party and event I’ve attended, children seem to gravitate towards me like how I seem to always gravitate towards the all-you-can-eat buffet tables. I also worked in another preschool two years ago, and worked for an after school program for an elementary school. Being around all the kids I’ve come across in my life has helped me gain a lot of knowledge and also feed my spark of passion to work with kids. One of my memorable moments working with kids was when one of the kids who was considered difficult by other staff members told me that I was his favorite teacher because I know how to talk to him unlike everybody else. 

Some of my passions are singing, playing chess, and taking care of my frog. For me, singing is a way to express myself…especially when I’m happy. I enjoy playing chess because I tend to think a lot so I like to use my thinking brain on the board instead of getting lost in my thoughts. Frogs are my favorite animal. I feel they have a good representation on how people are. Frogs start off as eggs and hatch into tadpoles then evolve into adult frogs and they are capable of adapting into almost any environment they’re in just like how people evolve and adapt from situations they are given or thrown into. I have a Pikachu Pacman frog named Jiraiya aka Young Thunder. I look forward to being a part of the Mixed Greens family and getting to know every child as an individual and their families. See y’all soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teacher:  Joe James

Hello everyone! My name is Joe James and I am extremely to be at Mixed Greens. I can’t wait to learn more about your children’s interests and passions to better help them learn and discover the world around us. To get a better sense of me, some of my hobbies and passions include basketball, music, food, cooking, swimming, board games, my three guinea pigs, and much more.

For the past six years I have been working with kids in elementary after-school programs and summer camps in Marin county. There, I created a curriculum and activities, led small adult teams, and helped maintain a safe environment. Currently I am a senior at Sonoma State University studying Early Childhood Education. I plan on continuing my education after graduating and obtaining a teaching credential for elementary school. 

I am very excited to have the opportunity to teach within the Mixed Greens environment. The outdoor space and caring nature of all who are a part of it brings a welcoming and open space to learn and grow. I’m really excited to join such a great team of wonderful teachers and be a part of such an awesome community. Hope to meet you all soon! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assistant Teacher: Raynee Jervan

Hello! My name is Raynee Jervan and I am very excited about taking this next step and adventure in my life with Mixed Greens. I come from a large family that has strong roots here in Sonoma County. From the time I was born, my parents and family have engulfed me with love & support, have taught me to believe in myself, appropriately express my feelings,  and experience every new day as an adventure in life that helps mold you as a person & create endless possibilities. I look forward to sharing those same loving qualities with the children I am blessed to be around here at Mixed Greens. I believe that children should observe nature and not only build and find the beauty in it, but also learn valuable loving qualities that they can imitate as they grow up and become respectful members of the community. I love teaching kids new things & having fun with them. I love being a part of a child’s development and I hope that I can make a positive impact on the kids that I am entrusted with daily. I’m very grateful to be working here at Mixed Greens so I can learn from the kids & they can learn from me. 

I’m currently working as an Electrician’s Apprentice with my Father who has been an Electrician in the Bay Area for over 30 years and I am striving to be more & more skilled in this trade. It has been a privilege to help the fire victims in Sonoma County rebuild their homes and see their smiling faces when they move back into their homes and put their lives back to the Sonoma County normal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teacher: Mahagony Walker (Mo)

Greetings friends! Everyone knows me as Miss Mo but my grown up name is Mahagony. I’m a returning Mixed Greener (was part of the opening crew of Lia Lane) and am thrilled to be back in the fam! After an escape to So Cal a year ago and a maternity leave, the universe has brought me and my new son Amonte back this community to continue building connections with these awesome families. I have 6 years of experience working with tiny humans from infancy through school age, but early childhood is where my heart lies. 
My education thus far comes from Santa Rosa Junior College, and my love for children began with raising my niece. I enjoy being a positive influence in children’s lives and take pride in sharing my culture, values, and interests with them. I believe that all children are capable and competent enough to make responsible decisions for themselves, and my job as a teacher is to be there to facilitate, challenge, and expand on their thoughts while making sure they execute their plans safely and with fun, of course!
When I’m not with children, I spend my time working on my personal training and online accessory business. I also enjoy spending time with my boyfriend and his Chihuahua, doing anything outdoors. I love a good read, farmers markets, avocados, cold beer, local wine, and new beauty products. Thank you for reading, I’m really looking forward to learning more about all the new and returning families this upcoming school year, and until then I send big hugs, a lot of love, and positive vibes to all!

 

Assistant Teacher: Ava Burlison-Young

Hi everyone, my name is Ava and I am so excited to be a part of the Mixed Greens community! I was born and raised in Santa Rosa and started babysitting neighborhood kids when I was twelve; this led me to study Early Child Education at SRJC, where I am currently enrolled. I grew up taking dance and art classes and playing soccer. I love doing anything creative: painting, drawing, writing and sewing, to name a few. I also grew up spending as much time as possible outdoors, camping, visiting the local beaches, walking The Laguna de Santa Rosa or hiking Pomo Canyon with my family. Sharing my love of nature with children is one of my greatest joys.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assistant Teacher: Kathryn Haidinyak

Heyo!! My name is Kathryn and I’m so excited to be joining the Mixed Greens family! I am currently a student right here at Sonoma state where I am part of the Hutchins program, which is helping me on my way to a elementary teaching degree and credential. Ever since I was 16 and had my first job working with kids, I knew that this is what I wanted to do. To make a child smile and show them the way in learning is so fulfilling. There is no better feeling then when you have been working with them for a long time and get to witness them achieve something new and exciting.  I live for that excitement about gaining new knowledge and knowing they did it themselves!