Meet The Teachers
As a child I spent the majority of my playtime outside & went barefoot whenever possible. I often spent hours in my neighborhood creek looking for salamanders, collecting stones & leaping from rock to rock. If there was a tree nearby I was in it, up as high as I could get & upside down when possible. Grassy hills were for rolling, running, & sledding; the woods were for obstacle courses, forts, & endless pretend play. Those years nurtured a relationship with nature that was both playful & curious. This deep connection led me to a graduate degree in ecology & a career in environmental education.
Exploring nature with children is intuitive for me, & has also become a delightful part of the time I spend with my family and friends. My work experience is an unusual mix of environmental ecology, teaching, & nonprofit leadership. I am most naturally drawn to working with children and have been a nature center kids’ program leader, children’s science museum teacher, home daycare provider, & camp counselor.
My journey with Palouse Roots began at the first gathering of parents & children with the founder, Darci Deaton. Darci’s vision resonated with some of my dearest aspirations & I knew right away that I wanted to be involved. I grew increasingly connected with the outdoor school, & when I started volunteering & then substituting I knew I had found my calling. I accepted a position as assistant teacher & began intermittently serving as lead teacher in Spring 2020. In Summer 2020, Darci fully passed the leadership to me & I took over as Palouse Roots Lead Teacher & Director in Fall 2020. I could not have dreamed up a more fluid transition into my current position & am completely in love with my job!
As a child to two botanists, I was destined to love the outdoors. Nature and
conservation played a very present role in my upbringing. I grew up in subtropical
Florida, teeming with life in every corner and endless opportunities for curiosity and
hands-on interaction. My time spent wandering the cypress groves and swamps
instilled within me a deep connection and sense of peace with nature.
In January of 2019, I drove across the country to begin pursuing a bachelor’s degree
in mathematics at Washington State University. The snow was a shock, but the
rolling hills and the community of Moscow, Idaho immediately captured my heart. In
the fall of 2020, I was introduced to Palouse Roots as a substitute assistant teacher
and was delighted by the opportunity to inspire and educate young children about
nature by being directly in it!
Children have a natural curious and creative nature that I have always loved to be around, and I think these qualities are best nurtured in the outdoors. The students’ kindness, resourcefulness, and enthusiasm for knowledge is inspiring and constantlyteaching me how to be more kind, resourceful, and enthusiastic in my life. Palouse Roots is a program that I feel is incredibly valuable to its students and to the communities they will touch throughout the rest of their lives. I know that I will be a great fit for the role of assistant teacher, and I am excited for this chance to inspireand educate the children in our community!
I am a recent graduate of Washington State University where I earned my bachelor’s degree in Human Development with a certificate in Early Childhood Education. I began working in childcare during high school; that experience sparked my interest and enthusiasm towards becoming an educator, encouraging me to pursue this field as I entered college. My specialization is with infants and children under five, and I have experience working with children of a variety of ages at both traditional preschools and home day cares.
Both my mother’s and father’s parents own farms in central Washington. My childhood home was located between these farms, providing me a beautiful and stimulating environment to explore, fostering my love and appreciation for nature and the outdoors. My rural upbringing gave me an appreciation for the outdoors at an early age and I am eager to be involved with a program that promotes similar principles and provides a valuable and unconventional learning opportunity!
Growing up on the West Coast, Bridgette’s roots branch from Oregon to Arizona. As one of eight children, their childhood experience was never boring and cultivated a foundation of curiosity and play. During their undergraduate degree at Portland State University, part of their studies gave them the opportunity to lead “Farm Education for the Youth” at a local organic farm. Helping children understand the vital relationship people have with the Earth was an extremely rewarding and gratifying experience for them.
Bridgette’s love of nature and creativity is their driving force and helped them earn a MFA in studio art at Washington State University. Having moved to the Palouse for grad school they were drawn to the region where they now enjoy a simple life in Moscow, Idaho.
Currently Bridgette is most focused on healing, gentleness, and joy and hopes to share these sentiments during their time spent with the children at Palouse Roots.