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.
Organic Gardening Teacher: Laura Baird
Hello my name is Laura Baird. I am married with 2 children (both Mixed Greens grads :)) 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 have been the Organic Gardening teacher at the OG since before my second kiddo was even born, and I am so very happy to continue to be a part of the fun! I love to teach about nature and the outdoors, and I have a passion for the Earth and having fun!
Atelierista: Mollye Field
Hi friends! I’m Mollye, and I am absolutely thrilled to be coming back to Mixed Greens for another exciting year! In the studio, we’re going to get messy, explore our emotions, and most importantly, have fun. A very wise four-year-old once said, “There are no wrong answers in art,” and that has become our motto. Are we going to make mistakes? Yeah, probably. Are we going to cry? Maybe. But are we going to learn and grow as individuals? Absolutely! Another wise three-year-old said, “I’m growing…like a banana!.” And that’s what we’re going to do: grow like the lovely bananas we are.
Some more things about me:
Likes: Creativity, Cats, Emotional openness, Earl Grey tea, Men complimenting other men
Dislikes: Mean people, Doing dishes, Social injustices, Cilantro
Art has always been a significant part of my life, and I strive to add creativity wherever I can. When I was young, I took every opportunity to turn an assignment into an art project. I took photography classes in high school and college and earned an AA in Art History in 2019. I’ve walked many paths in life and have acquired skills in various subjects and mediums along the way.
From 2012 to 2013, I studied Theater Arts, with an emphasis on makeup design and application. I received a Makeup Arts Certificate and designed the hair and makeup for a few shows, including Beauty and the Beast, Legally Blonde, and Les Misérables, for which I won an award. Theater brought me to cosmetology school, where I trained in esthetics and became licensed in 2016. Between 2014 and 2017, I worked at Disneyland and the Disney Store, where I interacted with children and made their days more magical. In 2018 I was the front desk associate and a Certified Tourism Ambassador for the Charles Schulz Museum. I volunteered at the Sonoma County Museum in 2019, assisting a local artist in making alebrijes with children and teens for a Día de Los Muertos exhibit. During this time, I discovered my love of working with and teaching children.
I’ve been working with children in an ECE environment since 2019 and believe I have finally found my true calling in life. I just finished my degree in Child Development at the JC and plan to transfer to SSU to continue my Child Development and Psychology studies. My goals as a teacher are to encourage children to try new things and not be afraid of failing or making mistakes. I want to inspire creativity and
curiosity. Let’s have fun, make messes, and ask questions! I’m looking forward to meeting your children and helping them learn, grow, and become the best they can be!
PS: I’ll be the one with the pink hair. =)
Teacher : Heather Harrison
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 my teacher training hours at Mixed Greens years ago, was the Director/Counselor at Camp Ever Greens for about 5 years, and have been a teacher at the OG for about 8 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 direction in my career because of my first 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 could 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! Now I welcome my new daughter Magnolia to the Mix, and look forward to growing alongside her as well! Working for Mixed Greens a, 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!
Family Connections Coordinator: Maria Freebairn-Smith
Professionally speaking, I am a preschool teacher, parenting coach/educator, and trained mediator with twenty years of experience working with families. I have a private practice helping parents and children move from conflict to connection. My graduate work was in Restorative Justice Practices and I am a trainer/facilitator for many schools across Sonoma County. My undergraduate degree is in Psychology from Barnard College, Columbia University with advanced trainings in Early Childhood Education, conflict resolution, and creative expression.
A good day is when I get to dance, sing, sit quietly in nature, and play with others or all of the above! I look forward to getting to know your children and your families! Look for me at Parent Ed nights and Mornings with Maria on the playgrounds at the schools throughout the year. You can also feel free to check out my websites for more info on my services: CreativeParentingCenter.com orCreativeCo-Parenting.com
Substitute 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!
Substitute Teacher: Kathryn Haidinyak
Heyo!! My name is Kathryn and I’m so excited to be a part of 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!
Substitute Teacher : Raynee Jervan
Hello! My name is Raynee Jervan and I am very excited about continuing this 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 also work 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.
Camp Ever Greens Counselor & Substitute Teacher – Cole Brady
Howdy! My name’s Cole Brady, and I’m very much looking forward to continuing my time with Camp Ever Greens and Mixed Greens! I’m 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 Ever Greens & Mixed Greens…I have nothing but high hopes!