Lia Lane 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 & Sprouts Teacher: J.J. Johnson

My name is J.J. and I am incredibly grateful to be a part of the Mixed Greens community! My love for working with children began in high school, when I started teaching dance classes to some aspiring ballerinas who, little did they know, were really the ones inspiring me. Motivated to continue down the path of teaching, I found myself in the Early Childhood Studies program at Sonoma State University.  I was quickly drawn to the professional field of Early Childhood, and am continually inspired by the individuals who make up this valuable community. Working in various classrooms throughout my time at SSU allowed my appreciation and passion to grow even more. After receiving my Bachelors in Early Childhood Studies in 2017, I spent a year teaching at My Gym Children’s Fitness Center here in Santa Rosa. I loved being able to help provide a place where children and families could play, learn, and grow together. I believe the value of play should take an active role in children’s learning and that education should emerge from children’s own interests.

When being introduced to Mixed Greens, I immediately knew I had found a community that shares my values and beliefs. It is important to me to create an environment where every child feels safe and supported. I believe it is only then that we can teach the whole child and help shape them to be life long learners. It is with so much joy that I get to be here at Mixed Greens and I am so excited to be a part of this wonderful family!




























Seedlings Teacher: Katia Filatov

Hi, my name is Katia Filatov and I am so excited to join the Mixed Greens community! I recently received my Bachelor’s in Psychology with an emphasis in Developmental Psychology from UC Davis. To complete the emphasis, I enjoyed coursework on infant development, including physical, social/emotional, and memory development in infants and toddlers. I transferred to UC Davis from SRJC, and I’m happy to be back home in Sonoma County! 

My passion for child development began when I was still a kid—at 13 years old! Throughout the years I’ve worked with children in various ways. I’ve been a babysitter, nanny, tennis coach, camp counselor, after-school teacher, and a preschool teacher. During my two years at UC Davis, I worked at a local preschool as the afternoon teacher in the Toddler Room. 

It is so incredibly rewarding to be a part of your little ones’ lives and watch them grow. Early childhood is a very special and important part of life, both from developmental and creative perspectives. It is a time of wonder, magic, curiosity, exploration, and friendship. When I first visited Mixed Greens, I saw an environment that fostered all those wonderful traits of early childhood, and shared them between children, parents and families, teachers, and nature.

Outside of teaching, I enjoy reading, writing, hiking, and spending lots of time with my family and friends. I also love hanging out with with my three guinea pigs: Nilla, Chai, and Toffee, who may also visit to Mixed Greens! I am so grateful that I get the chance to be a part of this community, and I can’t wait to meet everyone! 
















Flowers Co-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.






Flowers Co- Teacher:  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 units at Theoria College, and received my real life ECE training during my years as the Environments Teacher at Mixed Greens!

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!




























Atelierista: Jessica Crosier

Hello, my name is Jessica Crosier and I am incredibly excited to have the opportunity to join the Mixed Greens family as your Atelierista. I was first drawn to working with children after my first 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 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 and have learned so much from each experience, and look forward to continuing to grow. 

Growing up in Sonoma County, I have established a great appreciation and passion for exploring the outdoors and caring for our environment. I enjoy hiking with my pup Mia, biking, gardening, swimming, climbing, and all things outdoors. As the Atelierista, I hope to create activities that encourage children’s curiosity and passion for the natural world.

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 artistic work, or any other form of creative expression they feel fit. I am so happy to be joining the Mixed Greens family and am looking forward to meeting everyone and getting the chance to watch and grow alongside your little ones!













Environmentalism Teacher: Emily Sims

Hi everyone, my name is Emily and I’m really excited to be a part of Mixed Greens! I’ve always loved playing with kids and I care so much about preserving our environment. I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Theater from Cal Poly Pomona. I spent several years working at both Disneyland and Disneyworld where I got to engage kids in storytelling and make-believe every day. I also volunteered at the Aquarium of the Pacific and taught kids about animals and ocean conservation. Last summer I spent 5 months hiking 1200 miles along the Appalachian trail which inspired me to learn more about sustainability. I recently became certified as an EMT and I’m currently studying Sustainability.
I’ve always loved kids. I babysat a lot in high school, and most of my jobs since then have involved some element of play. At Disney parks I liked making up games and stories. The aquarium was especially exciting because I got to teach them about animals, conservation, and watch them meet strange new animals.
During quarantine I’ve been learning to grow my own food, practicing yoga, and playing with my dog. I love hiking, biking, surfing and most anything outside! And as soon as it’s safe I’m excited to be able to travel around again, especially to South America and Africa to practice my Spanish and Swahili!
I look forward to meeting everyone and learning with your kids!



















Teacher: Courtney Hunter

Hi everyone, I’m Courtney Hunter, and I’m very excited to be a part of the Mixed Greens team! I’ve been working with kids for the past 15 years as a preschool teacher, nanny, summer camp counselor, field trip teacher, and Camp Ever Greens Counselor. In 2008 I received my AA in Child Development at the SRJC right here in Sonoma County, where I was born and raised.

Being a part of a young child’s learning experience is an incredible gift and learning lesson for all involved! Taking time to slow down and explore our curiosity about the natural world, figure out how things work and experiment with creative expression through art/movement/music/building/language are things that I love to encourage in children at any age (including us “grown ups”)!

Besides teaching, some of my other passions include gardening, creating visual art + music, traveling as much of the globe as possible, and volunteering in my community.  I look forward to meeting you all and continuing this learning journey together!










Teacher: Logan Kreun

Hello, my name is Logan Kreun and I am so stoked to be joining the Mixed Greens community! As a child, nature had a huge emphasis on my life, but it wasn’t until later that I realized I wanted to work with young children. After high school, I spent a few years attending Solano Community College, where I completed classes in their child and family studies program. I transferred to Sonoma State University in the Fall of 2019 and it is here that I found my passion for working in a nature based preschool. I graduated with a B.A. in Early Childhood Studies with an emphasis on education in the Fall of 2020.

I have been working with young children for the majority of my life. Throughout the years I have worked with young children in various settings. I’ve been a babysitter, nanny, swim and soccer coach, and while attending community college, worked as a preschool teacher in Winters, CA. I am so very grateful to get to be a part of the Mixed Greens community and to be a part of your child’s life. Early Childhood is an exciting period of developmental and creative growth and I am truly blessed to be a part of the experience. While I am not teaching, I enjoy camping and hiking, playing card games, and being with friends and family. I look forward to meeting each and every one of you! 

Substitute Teacher: Elizabeth Espinosa-Ouks

Hi y’all! My name is Elizabeth (but you can call me Lizzie) and I am 25 years young! I am so very excited to be joining the Mixed Greens family as a substitute teacher! I am currently a Child Development student at Santa Rosa Junior College and my dream is to open up my very own daycare/preschool! 
Kiddos have been running around and drooling on me for as long as I can remember. Being the oldest of four children has taught me a lot and has definitely contributed to my love for this work (and for children)! I have been a professional nanny for a few years now, but have been babysitting for family members since middle school. It wasn’t until I changed my major a bunch of times that I knew how passionate I truly am about children and healthy development! I loved my childhood and I wish nothing more than to make sure all children love their childhood as well! That is why being a teacher means so much to me!
Here are some fun facts about me! 🙂 I LOVE nature and I’ve been getting a hang of this gardening thing as well! (Quarantine things, am I right?) Succulents and Cacti are my favorite at the moment! I love doing hair on the side: braiding, twisting, curling, you name it! I love getting creative in the kitchen as well! I also like to paint, ride my bike, watch movies, listen to Korean pop music and bake! I am so looking forward to dominating 2021 with the Mixed Greens family and your kiddos! Nothing but fun paint messes and blessings this year!



















Substitute Teacher & Camp Ever Greens Counselor – Cole Brady

Howdy! My name’s Cole Brady, and I’m very much looking forward to starting work at Camp Ever Greens and Mixed Greens! I’m 20 years old and currently working my way through college to become a music teacher/working musician. I have a passion for playing the drums, I’ve been playing them for about eight and a half years without an end in sight.  You may have seen me and my band playing at Mixed Greens Art from the Start! I have been babysitting 3 kids (10 and under) of a family friend for the past two years, and have spent a whole lot of time with them. Whenever I see them, we spend our time together doing anything outdoors. From playing tag to jumping on a trampoline… sometimes a music lesson sneaks in too; whatever we decide to do it’s guaranteed fun! My mom is an elementary school teacher, and from a young age I frequently helped her out in the classroom. It has sparked my interest in teaching and getting to know more about kids and how they see the world. In the future, I hope to combine my passion for music and education/creativity to enhance my skills for a career in teaching. I’m excited for this year at Camp Evergreens & Mixed Greens, I have nothing but high hopes!










Substitute Teacher:  Sunee Lewitzky

Hi there!  I am a Mixed Greens mom who has been the handywoman fixer upper around the school, attending to any needed repairs, and have also been your preschool portrait photographer for the last few years. I really love all that we’re doing at the Farmstead and wanted to become more involved! I have a background in early childhood education (ECE credits), studied fine art and photography at the San Francisco Art Institute, and am currently enrolled in a graduate program to become a licensed MFT and Art Therapist. 

The love of nature, art, and fostering creativity is something I feel is very important to nurture in our children, which is why I love being a part of the Mixed Greens family!










Teacher: JD Oppermann (currently on Paternity Leave!)

Hello, my name is Gustav James David Oppermann VI (but you can call me “JD” 🙂) My interest in early childhood began, as many of our defining moments do, with tragedy. In 2013 I was in a car accident that put me in a coma for 3 months and in-patient at Washington Hospital Center for another 4. Though I had been in college before the accident, it was only as a patient recovering from Traumatic Brain Injury that I was first exposed to the budding science of neuroplasticity. In the proceeding years of recovery, I had the unique opportunity to witness the power of the human mind to adapt, learn and grow!

Today, I have a bachelors in Early Childhood Education and will be approaching my 4th year as a preschool teacher! Guiding my practice, I graciously apply the lessons I learned in recovery to support and nurture children in their lives, valuing and appreciating the nuance of each child’s unique development and journey. I hope to stay at Mixed Greens as long as I can, squeezing in as many hours in the classroom as possible before I head off to a PhD program. Looking forward to meeting everyone and growing smarter, stronger, kinder and wiser together! 

































































Teacher: Mahagony Walker (currently on Maternity Leave!)

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, the universe has brought me back this community to continue building connections with these awesome families. I have 5 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 comes from raising my now eight year old 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!











Spanish Teacher:  Maestra Ofelia (program on hold due to Covid)

Ofelia is originally from Nicaragua and arrived in Sonoma County in 2018, where she is journeying through the adventure of raising a bilingual family with young children. Through Colors of Spanish, and as a provider of Preschool Spanish to a number of Santa Rosa preschools, she is enjoying the sharing of Latin American culture and history to the next generation of multi-cultural and bilingual Californians. You can often find her at local Spanish Story Times – either as a provider or participant as she further develops her skills as a language leading instructor and mother.