Chavitos! Nature School
Chavitos Guides for 2021-2022
Meag Diamond is a Cedarsong certified Forest Kindergarten teacher. For 15 years she has taught in the public and private school environments in Washington and in Lagos, Nigeria. Before starting Chavitos she spent six years at a local public Montessori school as a Lower Elementary Teacher (grades 1-3). Meag holds her National Board Certification in Literacy and also possesses a Montessori certification. When she saw her older son's love for nature she started to think creatively about a solution that would get both of them into the woods together more often. Now she has witnessed the powerful magic of the forest with her 4 year old. Chano has been in the forest since he was one month old and it's hard to get him to come inside.
Meag is passionate about plant medicine. She has started growing herbal medicine in her wild garden and uses them in her home apothecary. Her and Jose dream of a homestead where she can grow veggies, medicine and plants of natural dying. Her goal in life is to slow way down.
Meag (she/her/hers) teaches daily at On the Hill and Friday mornings at the Preschool.
Jose Estrada is originally from Guatemala where he spent six years teaching physical education and coaching soccer, lacrosse and swimming. For four years he worked at Safe Passage where he worked with some of Guatemala's neediest children. It was here where he met Meag who was volunteering for a week. His passion is to incorporate play and recreation into education with an emphasis on exploring nature in our diverse community. Jose and his sons Keats and Chano love to learn through cooking, dancing and biking to the farmers market.
He has been drawn to the Waldorf philosophy and has started his teacher training. This year it's virtual from Mexico.
Jose (he/him/his) teaches both mornings and afternoons in September-May and is a Native Spanish speaker.
Raised by Appalachian thunderstorms and fireflies, Georgia has found herself on a life scavenger hunt of learning how to be in a regenerative relationship with the Earth, as well as how to guide others on this path.
Georgia designed her B.A to be Ecotherapy with a minor in Sustainable Development. She also holds a permaculture design certification.
Her experience includes working with Earthpath Education, as a preschool garden teacher, a wilderness therapy guide for at-risk youth in Hawaii, as a lead forest preschool teacher at Growing Wild, and as a rites of passage guide for youth.
In her free time, she loves to tend gardens, dance, ride her bike, make herbal medicines, and be contemplative.
Georgia (she, her, hers) teaches Monday through Fridays at On the Hill. Georgia is a Spanish speaker.
Valeria is originally from Mexico where she studied biology. Being a biologist allowed her to have countless field trips where she explored almost every type of vegetation in Mexico. Perhaps it was when she was following the migratory route of the monarch butterfly or when determining the habitat of the military macaw when she realized how much she loves to share about nature. As a way to involve the public in science she became an environmental educator at a kindergarten. Her love for kids and desire to learn English brought her to the United States through a cultural exchange.
It was in Washington where she fell in love with the evergreen forest of the Pacific Northwest (and her husband too). Her passion for learning and helping out led her into many volunteer opportunities and her current jobs as an education specialist for the Vashon Nature Center and a naturalist for the Environmental Science Center. On her free time, she enjoys gardening, hiking and biking.
Vale (she, her, hers) teaches Monday-Friday afternoons at the preschool. She is a Native Spanish speaker.
Autom is a an assistant teacher at Chavitos and a sitter for College Nannies. She has been working with children in various ways for about 7 years. Working mostly with children 1-5 yrs on a one on one basis.
She is excited to expand her knowledge working at this school. She has her high school diploma and one quarter of college getting her teaching degree. She is a beginner in her Spanish speaking abilities and is ready to improve.
Autom (she,her,hers) teachers Monday and Wednesday mornings at the preschool.
Tania is a mother of 3 children living in the Pacific Northwest by way of Hawaii. The vast wilderness and outdoor experiences have made her grow to love this place now called home.
Growing up on the equator in Indonesia and Singapore, Tania is a third culture adult and bilingual traveler. Tania has a B.A in Asian Hawaiian Pacific studies, and a Master’s in Social work with a focus in community organizing and decolonizing methodologies. She currently works as a mental health provider in hospice & palliative care, photography and private wellness practice.
Tania has spent a decade in self and group study with Waldorf Education via her children’s schooling and the Cedarsong Way forest school. This included a masters capstone on social justice and equity in early childhood education through centralized forest kindergarten offerings and emergent curriculum.
Tania (she,her,hers) teaches Tuesday and Thursday mornings at the preschool.
Jeff Brahe started learning Zimbabwean-style marimba as a child in 1997, following the tradition brought to the U.S. by Dumisani Maraire. Over the following decades, he has learned from and worked with numerous Zimbabwean and American musical greats, including the late Cosmas Magaya. In 2010, he graduated from the University of Puget Sound with a B.A. in Music, focusing on composition and bass clarinet.
Jeff is the founder of Jekesa Marimba Studio in Tacoma, where he teaches classes and private lessons. He also directs marimba programs at Immanuel Presbyterian Church and St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows, and teaches marimba at the Hazelwood School.
Through teaching and sharing African music in the U.S., Jeff strives to increase awareness of the African origins of virtually all forms of American popular music. He hopes that this awareness can have a positive impact on our increasingly divided society.
Jeff (he, him, his) teaches Marimba on Tuesday and Thursdays at Chavitos On the Hill.
Kate Fontana (she/her/hers) is the co-founder and steward of the Sanctuary Northwest, whose mission is to transform the lives of trauma survivors for the better; and to nurture strong, resilient families, communities and ecosystems where all life thrives. Kate has been supporting the spiritual development of womxn and families since 2014.
Circle Round is largely informed by the work of Starhawk, as well as Kate's immersion into earth-based spirituality, interspiritual contemplative practice, cultural somatics, animism, pastoral care, and being a devoted auntie.
Kate (she,her,hers) teaches once a month on Saturdays at Circle Round.
Circle Round is the third Saturday of the month in September, October, March, April, June and July. 10:00-10:45 before the whole school potluck. It's at the Chavitos Preschool location. Check out the events page for details.