Board of Directors and Staff

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Julia Valentine, President

Julia Valentine teaches gardening in the Sonoma County public schools to children K-8th grade, where her passion for education and gardening are best realized. She is also a trained Waldorf kindergarten teacher with over a decade of experience, as well as a permaculture designer and teacher.  Julia is a founding member of Transition Sebastopol, and works closely with the Sebastopol Grange.

Susan Stover, Treasurer

Susan is a Sonoma County farmer, selling produce from an organic orchard and an oversized home garden. Her many years as a produce distributor connects her to the regional farming community. Working with SGN gives her an opportunity to continue to share her commitment to small scale farming with all ages. She believes that learning to grow food is a building block of an education. She shares her farm with her husband and many pet animals.

Aimee Vorhaus, Secretary

Aimee is a sustainable agriculture and healthy foods activist who believes school gardens are crucial to promoting a better understanding of how food is connected to our personal and environmental health. She has a background in fundraising and grant writing, and is currently the School Garden Chair at Grant Elementary where she has spearheaded the development of a new Outdoor Classroom and Learning Garden. Aimee also serves on several boards and committees at the local level, including Slow Foods Marin-Petaluma. She holds a Master’s degree from Brown University and a Bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University. Aimee lives with her husband and two young children in Petaluma, CA where she grows fruit and vegetables year-round in their quarter-acre garden.

Elizabeth Westerfield

An educator and a gardener for over 20 years, Elizabeth Westerfield has taught English to Oakland middle schoolers, gardening to urban elementary school students, and English as a Second Language and GED preparation to adults in San Francisco and the greater Bay Area.  She also assists clients with garden design, development and maintenance.  Currently, she and her family  live in Forestville where they grow, glean, harvest, and process much of what they eat.  She is passionate about the importance of teaching all people the values of eating healthy and growing healthy food, treating the earth with respect, and creating community.

Kenneth Rochford

Kenneth is from Scotland and works in the wine world with CIRQ Estate. In previous lives he’s been in general management roles with Seghesio, Medlock Ames and Healdsburg’s SHED. He spends his spare time crafting preserves and convincing people to eat more marmalade. An ardent supporter of school gardens, Kenneth also sits on the board of seedling projects – a do-tank for the artisan food community. He lives in Sebastopol with his uncomplaining wife and son.

SGN is accepting applications for new board members. We are also seeking volunteers to join our committees. If you are interested in joining a committee or want to learn more about serving on SGN’s board, contact Tracy Batchelder at info@schoolgardens.orgClick HERE to learn more about SGN Committees.

STAFF

Tracy Batchelder, Acting Director

Tracy has volunteered for her children’s school gardens and parent teacher organizations for many years and enjoys spending time in her own garden.  She appreciates the important role school gardens play in introducing students to essential connections between nature and their own health. She has a BA from UC Berkeley and a Masters of Environmental Management (MEM) from Duke University and spent her early professional years working on conservation projects in the United States and Latin America with government agencies and non-profit organizations. Working with SGN affords her the opportunity to combine her experience in non-profit management and natural resources management with her interest in education, gardening, and nutrition.

Laurel Anderson, Schoolyard Habitat Program Coordinator (and SGN Board Member)

Laurel Anderson is a founding member of the School Garden Network. She was the School Garden Coordinator at Salmon Creek School for the past fourteen years and is a regular guest instructor at Occidental Arts and Ecology’s annual School Garden Trainings. She currently works as a SGN garden mentor, is a coordinator of SGN’s Schoolyard Habitat Program, and is actively involved in the local farm to school movement. Laurel is passionate about shelling beans and seedsaving and helped to start the West County Community Seed Exchange.  She lives with her fifteen year old son and partner on the Laguna in Sebastopol and loves to explore the Sierras!

Sue McQuiddy, Healthy Roots Nutrition Educator

Sue McQuiddy splits her time between School Garden Network and Cali Calmécac Language Academy (CCLA), a public English-Spanish immersion school of over 1,000 K-8th grade students in Windsor, where she has served as the Garden and Nutrition Education Program Coordinator for the last eight years. Sue has successfully integrated nutrition education and school gardening classes into the school day that complement academics and enrich students’ learning experiences while promoting healthy eating habits. She has received program training from Network for a Healthy California, Sonoma County School Garden Network and Life Lab at UCSC, and is a college graduate of UCSC, 1993. Sue is a leader in implementing additional health and environmental education opportunities for youth, including the Safe Routes to School Walk and Roll Program at CCLA, the Scholar’s Garden Outdoor Classroom and Reading Area at CCLA, and the CCLA annual Family Fitness Fundraiser, the “Move-a-thon”, with over 500 families in attendance. She has active relationships with several community partners who share her commitment to improving health and access to fresh foods of under-served youth and families.