Team

We're creative, results-oriented individuals who are passionate about food education.

Kate Brashares

Executive Director

About

Originally from London, Kate has made her home in the U.S. for the past 15 years. After a varied career spanning financial services and marketing, she turned to nonprofit management. Prior to Edible Schoolyard NYC, Kate worked at a charter school network. She studied Classics at Cambridge University and has an MBA from Columbia University. She lives in Montclair, NJ with her husband and three children, where she enjoys attempting to turn her wild backyard into a beautiful garden and cooking with her family.

Happy Place

On the back of a horse, anywhere

Shpresa Capric

Food Corps Service Member,
Brooklyn Garden Elementary School

About

Shpresa was born and raised in New York. She is always looking for ways to get involved in the city and community so service is a huge part of her life. When she is not volunteering at food pantries and community gardens, she’s usually out enjoying nature or exploring cafes and restaurants around NYC.

Happy Place

Parks and gardens

Get in Touch

Email Shpresa

Isabella Cruz

Food Corps Service Member
P.S. 311

About

Isabella grew up in the suburbs of New York but spent many summers frolicking the fields of her grandfather’s farm. She spends much of her time watching cooking shows and testing out adventurous recipes of her own. After trying her hand at a non-profit in Ecuador, Isabella was excited to bring her passion for food, agriculture, and gardening home with her. These days she can usually be found shopping at her local farmers market or volunteering at the nearest Humane Society

Happy Place

Anywhere with lots of dogs

Get in Touch

Email Isabella

Liza Engelberg

Director of Education

About

Liza comes to Edible Schoolyard NYC after many years as a classroom teacher of both children and adults, and trains our educators to become better teachers themselves. She is currently trying to perfect the kale pesto recipe she learned in a kitchen class at PS 216.

Favorite Cookbook

Marcella Hazan: Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.

Get in Touch

Email Liza

Dan Feder

Program Manager,
P.S. 216

About

Dan comes to Edible Schoolyard NYC from the culinary world. Prior to 2012, Dan had a brief stint in the nonprofit development world before leaving to attend culinary school and cook professionally in New York City restaurants. Fortunately he found his way to Edible Schoolyard NYC at P.S. 216, where he happily remains to this very day.

Favorite Cookbook

Eating Delancey: A Celebration of Jewish Food

Get in Touch

Email Dan

Cecilia Galarraga

Garden Teacher,
P.S. 216

About

Cecilia has been teaching in parks and gardens for several years in NYC. She can most likely be found looking for ladybugs in the asparagus bed or taking a nap next to the basil.

Favorite Cookbook

The Joy of Cooking

Get in Touch

Email Cecilia

Ian Goza

Food Corps Service Member,
P.S. 109

About

Ian was born and raised in Little Rock Arkansas. As an Eagle Scout he loved spending time outdoors; some of his favorite activities include camping, hiking, and canoeing in the hills and streams of his home state. He just moved to NYC from Washington DC where he gained a passion for teaching reading, gardening, and composting to young kids.

Favorite Cookbook

Barefoot Contessa in Paris by Ina Garten

Get in Touch

Email Ian

Shey Hall

Kitchen Teacher,
P.S./M.S. 7

About

After years of working in account management at a media research company, Shey decided it was time to leave the corporate world to sprout new seeds in classrooms and gardens. As a proud Bronx native, Shey found his passion in his community (and its soil!) after learning how to grow everything from jalapeño peppers to cherry trees. When he’s not busy advocating for the Bronx, he can be found exploring the world with his wife, daughter, and dog.

Happy Place

Planning my next adventure

Get in Touch

Email Shey

Leonisa Johnson

Educator/Program Manager,
Evergreen School for Urban Exploration and Brooklyn Gardens Elementary

About

Leonisa joined the Edible Schoolyard NYC team after spending several years working to bring edible education to local New York City after-school programs. A native New Yorker, Leonisa has always enjoyed cooking, eating, and spending time around the table.

Happy Place

The beach

Get in Touch

Email Leonisa

Anthony Jones

Garden Teacher,
P.S./M.S. 7

About

Originally from New Rochelle, NY, Anthony grew up with a love for getting his hands dirty. After studying Environmental Science, Anthony worked in the mountains of California to reconnect students from urban areas to the outdoors. In addition to his experience in outdoor education, Anthony has also worked alongside local community members to promote healthier eating habits. Anthony is passionate about garden-to-table education and encouraging others to eat their fruits and veggies. He is ecstatic about working with NYC students to inspire, grow and eat fresh food. When he doesn’t have his hands deep in compost, Anthony can be found in Barbados, scuba diving, rescuing sea turtles and relaxing on white sand beaches.

Veggie Alter Ego

Butternut Squash

Get in Touch

Email Anthony

Paloma Jones

Garden and Kitchen Educator
Evergreen School for Urban Exploration

About

Paloma is a proud native New Yorker, born and raised in Queens. Her enthusiasm for this work has brought her home, where she’s excited to bring her passion for food and nutrition to the 5 boroughs. After earning two Bachelor’s degrees, a BA in psychology from NYU and a BS in nutrition and dietetics from Queens College, Paloma is looking forward to bringing her knowledge to her role as Garden and Kitchen Educator in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Prior to coming to ESYNYC, Paloma volunteered as a dietary intern with City Harvest. Most recently she worked as a Program Manager in the Children’s Education Department at New York Cares. In her free time she can be found enjoying all the amazing food the city has to offer.

Get in Touch

Email Paloma

Bonnie Lin

Food Corps Service Member,
Bright Choice Community School

About

Bonnie has joined the Edible Schoolyard NYC team as a first year FoodCorps Service member. She has recently graduated from Hunter college with a BS in Nutrition and Food science. Having lived in New York City her whole life, she’s excited to bring her creativity and passion for food and nutrition back to where she grew up. In her free time, you can find her in the kitchen trying new recipes.

Veggie Alter Ego

Daikon Radish

Get in Touch

Email Bonnie

Rosa Marruffo

Program Manager,
P.S./M.S. 7

About

Rosa comes to Edible Schoolyard NYC by way of OklahomaShe has spent the last six years in garden and food justice education, and has a Master’s in Public Health focusing on community health and social sciences. Rosa is passionate about addressing the unfair access to fresh, affordable healthy foods in order to give everyone a chance to live a healthier life.

Happy Place

Oil painting

Get in Touch

Email Rosa

Luis Medina

Senior Manager, Operations and Finance

About

Luis spent most of his childhood watching cooking shows and making a mess in the kitchen. He is currently working on his Master’s degree in Food Studies at NYU, where he is studying food access and hunger issues.

Veggie Alter Ego

Purple Carrot

Get in Touch

Email Luis

Ellen Okamoto

Senior Manager, Events and Engagement

About

Ellen’s roots are in the mangrove forests and citrus groves of Southwest Florida. She was drawn to New York in 2008, and her hospitality experience at Union Square Hospitality Group and Eleven Madison Park instilled in her a deep love for the NYC community, food justice and a need to get involved.

Veggie Alter Ego

Bird chili

Get in Touch

Email Ellen

 

Josephine Quiocho

Kitchen Teacher, P.S. 7 Samuel Stern / M.S. 7

About

Jo comes to Edible Schoolyard NYC after several years as a food and environmental educator throughout New York City schools. She has a Master’s degree in Food Studies and strives to instill in her students a sense of wonder and awe towards the food ecosystem. She is often found in her happy places, traipsing through forests, fields, and farms while pondering the life of a giant sequoia or meditating on the color of an eggplant.

Veggie Alter Ego

Artichoke

Get in Touch

Email Jo

 

Emily Rehberger

Garden Teacher,
P.S. 216

About

Emily grew up with her food-obsessed family in Wisconsin. She moved out to Berkeley to study Environmental Science, and then hopped over to Utah to garden with kids in the red rock canyons. She is now thrilled to be gardening here with the kids in New York City!

Veggie Alter Ego

Beet

Get in Touch

Email Emily

Ryan Renaud

Educator/Program Manager,
Bronx Network Sites

About

Ryan comes to NYC from Texas, where he grew up around a family of educators and good food. After attending Columbia University for nutrition and becoming a Registered Dietitian, Ryan spent time at GrowNYC and Children’s Aid Society working with seed-to-plate and food justice programs. With a background in research, Ryan is as likely to be found reading a journal article as searching for the best new restaurant in town.

Favorite Cookbook

The Flavor Bible

Get in Touch

Email Ryan

Jessica Tartanian

Evaluation Manager

About

Jessie didn’t know that her four years of mandatory agricultural tech classes in school would come in handy. Now with a Master’s in Public Health and over ten years of designing, leading, and training others to lead edible education programs with young people, she is delighted to be measuring impact and helping Edible Schoolyard NYC find new ways to make a difference in our school communities. She and her family live in Pennsylvania and travel back to Brooklyn for work and play often.

Veggie Alter Ego

Aubergine

Get in Touch

Email Jessica

Mirem Villamil

Head Garden Manager

About

Decades after leaving the beaches of Puerto Rico to become a set designer in Barcelona, Mirem switched to garden design (specifically for school gardens) in New York City. She is a mother of two young and experimental cooks.

Favorite Cookbook

Elizabeth David: inspiring, evocative, and not at all precise.

Get in Touch

Email Mirem

Neysa Yoon-Cho

Vice President of Development & External Affairs

About

Over the last seventeen years, Neysa has worked with a number of nonprofit organizations whose missions serve to support and expand equity, access, and opportunities for young people in New York City and beyond. Most recently, she led the external affairs team at Teach For America New York and the development team at NAF, formerly the National Academy Foundation. Neysa lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.

Happy Place

Reading “nooks” with my kids

Get in Touch

Email Neysa

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