Hoen Ave Staff

Director & Teacher:  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.














Atelierista: Lauren Wiseman

Hello! My name is Lauren Wiseman and I am so excited to be the Atelierista for the Mixed Greens Hoen Ave location! I was born in Ottawa Kansas in 1992, and I’m “definitely not in Kansas anymore”. I am currently the Teachers Assistant for Adam Wolpert at Esalen Institute for the biannual “Painting the Outer and Inner Landscape” workshops. I studied painting and art history in Florence Italy in 2013, earned a BS in 2015 from Baker University emphasizing Ecology and Studio Art, and spent two years studying the figure at the University of Kansas with Judith McCrea. I took a leap of faith and made my journey out to California in 2018, explored the infinite beauty of Big Sur, and showed work in Monterey, Walnut Creek, and Seaside, CA. During my time in Los Angeles, I worked at the Natural History Museum, and it was my greatest joy to work with our youth visitors, full to bursting with questions about native tribes, snakes, gemstones, and the colossal giants that used to rule the earth. I seek to combine that inherent curiosity and passion for the natural world with our practices in the atelier. My journey has brought me to the beautiful Sonoma County, and I could not be more excited to explore this new world and get to know my Santa Rosa community.   

I am so looking forward to embarking on my ECE journey at Mixed Greens. I am deeply inspired by positive human interaction with nature and believe that those key experiences encourage us to become better stewards of our world. In our Atelier, we will be experiencing the languages of expression, the bounty of nature, and beginning to articulate the most important lifelong question: “Who am I?” I am looking forward to utilizing the Reggio Emilia approach, and cannot wait to show you what magic we can create with a scoop of art fundamentals, a spoonful of deep respect for the natural world, and a heaping cup of imagination and ingenuity from our Mixed Greens students! What a winning combination!  

To learn more about my practice, upcoming shows, or my work visit www.laurenwiseman.com. I can’t wait to meet everyone! 











Core Teacher: Michaela Mackenzie

Hi there, I’m a nature-based Early Childhood Educator who supports little ones in building their nature connection, social-emotional literacy, and play-based imagination. For the past five years, I’ve danced between the worlds of a garden educator, forest preschool teacher, and nature-based mentor. I’ve collaborated with Slide Ranch, Education Outside, Trackers Earth, and Parks Plus Creation, among others. Most recently, I was a teacher at the Spire School Forest Preschool in San Francisco.  I have a B.A. in Visual Anthropology from SF State and am currently working towards my Early Childhood Education Certificate at SRJC. 
I’m so happy  to join the Mixed Greens community! My favorite day at school is one full of muddy romping, bird listening, crafting, and dramatic play – becoming a momentary pirate, lava monster, or hawk brings joy to my heart. When I’m not teaching, I love to wander the winding trails of Sonoma County with my three-legged pup, Azul, to deepen my fiber arts practice, and to study herbalism at California School of Herbal Studies. 












Organic Gardening Teacher: Laura Baird

Hello my name is Laura Baird. I am married with 2 children (one is a Mixed Greens grad and one is a current MG kid :)) Born and raised in Sonoma County, I am a true country girl!  I’ve always loved working with children, starting at the YMCA at age 18.  I earned my AA in Social and Environmental Sciences, and also my Early Childhood Education Associate Teacher certificate at SRJC.  I was the Organic Gardening teacher at the OG a few years ago before taking a maternity leave, and I am so very happy to be back!  I love to teach about nature and the outdoors, and I have a passion for the Earth! 



























Environments Teacher:  Cam West

(In person program on hold due to Covid – Cam will be providing Distance Learning via Zoom!)

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 am currently working towards my Child Development degree through Theoria College.  

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 or 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 who’s goals match my own!


































Substitute Teacher & Camp Ever Greens Counselor: Courtney Hunter

Hi everyone, I’m Courtney Hunter, and I’m very excited to be a part of the team at Mixed Greens! I’ve been working with kids for the past 15 years as a preschool teacher, nanny, summer camp counselor, and field trip teacher. 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!
















Substitute Teacher & Camp Ever Greens Counselor – Grace McKenna

Hello, my name is Grace McKenna, and I am happy to be a Counselor at Camp EverGreens, and  a sub at Mixed Greens!      I have been working at Camp Evergreens for about six years now and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it! I am currently in school to become an elementary school teacher. This job has definitely done nothing but reassure my career goal. I spend a lot of time with my three younger siblings,(10 and under) two of which went to Mixed Greens. I love them to the moon and back; if not for my siblings I never would have been introduced to the Mixed Greens family. I’m looking forward to the crafts, games, learning experiences, and activities that are to come this year!

I’m a huge animal fan, in my freetime I love spending time with my two Boston Terriers Stallone and Shumway! If I’m not out walking the dogs I’m thinking of new crafts and activities that can be done at Camp Evergreens.














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!











Heather & Violet

Teacher : Heather Harrison (on maternity leave 🙂

Hi there, my name is Heather Harrison. I am more than thrilled to be a part of this amazing community of Mixed Greens! I completed teacher training hours at Mixed Greens years ago, and have been the Director/Counselor at Camp Ever Greens and a teacher at both Mixed Greens campuses for about 4 years now. I am excited to focus fully this year on the OG campus and crew!  Ever since I was a little girl, I have always had a passion for the outdoors. Gardening, camping, and running cross country were a few of my favorite activities. I have also had an extreme connection with animals, always training my dogs’ basic obedience and specialty tricks as well. I was a very active FFA (Future Farmers of America) member in the Campbell, CA Chapter, competing in speech competitions and raising and showing animals, receiving 2 blue ribbons…I raised three pigs, a lamb, two turkeys and shared a steer with a fellow FFA member!

One of my greatest memories when I was younger was attending science camp. Remembering how much joy it brought me singing songs and learning about the earth around me fascinated me and I am so excited to be given the opportunity to share that same joy with other children.

I have my Camp Director certification from the American Camp Association, and earned my Child Development teaching certificate from SRJC.  I started this new direction in my career because of my daughter, Violet. The day she was born, a love for children bloomed that I had never realized I had before her arrival.  I started taking Child Development classes to ensure that I was doing everything I coud to become the best mother possible. In doing so, I realized I have a talent for teaching and a passion for guiding new sprouting minds! Working for Mixed Greens and Camp Ever Greens, I am given an opportunity to extend my knowledge of development and nurturing to benefit other children as well as my own.  I am so excited to get to know all of these wonderful children and their families!






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

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.