Board of Directors

NINPA BOD members will:

  • Be an active member of the NINPA community through participation in member meetings, member events, BOD meetings, special events, and trainings. 
  • Continually advance nature pedagogy through research, observation and participation in a variety of activities such as webinars, conferences and symposiums that involve best practices in nature-based early childhood education.
  • Support and encourage fellow educators through dialogue, collaboration and the sharing of resources and ideas.
  • Encourage others to make nature-based learning available to all children though accessible spaces, tools, materials, representation for all children. 
  • Promote the field of nature-based learning in early childhood education. 
Executive Board
MeganNeufferK PhotoBeth
Interim Co-President & NINPA Founder
Megan Gessler M.Ed. (she/her)
Little Trees Program Supervisor
Morton Arboretum
Interim Co-President & Secretary
Kathryn Neuffer (she/her)
Supervisor of Early Childhood Programs
Morton Arboretum
Beth Wilson M.S.Ed (she/her)
Hobson School
Cara Headshot 1SeanSarah
Cara Ruffo (she/her)
Program Naturalist
Park Ridge Park District
Sean Shaffer
Nature Engagement Specialist
Chicago Park District
Sarah Sheldon M.Ed. (she/her)
Marji O’Leary
Flossmoor Community Church Weekday Preschool
Jennifer Olson, MAT (she/her)
Director of Marketing and Events
Forest School Mentor
Prairie School of DuPage
Stacy Voras (she/her)
Blended Pre-K Teacher
LaGrange School District 102
meBio Photo SnowMarilyn Brink
Audrey Todd (they/them)
Executive Director
Wonder Woods Chicago
Teresa Weed M.Zoology
Lead Organizer
Forest Schools for Illinois
Marilyn Brink, M.Ed.
Nature-based Learning Consultant
Mary Crane Center
Adjunct Faculty, Nature Assistant Certificate
Morton College