Team

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

Amina Bahloul

Kitchen Teacher,
P.S. 7/M.S. 7 & Global Tech Prep

About

Amina hails from Michigan, where she grew up cheering on the Spartans. Prior to Edible Schoolyard NYC, Amina worked as a Nutrition and Garden Educator through the Michigan Fitness Foundation and served as Healthy Lifestyles Project Coordinator with the Capital Area Health Alliance. Amina brings to her work a degree in Nutrition, a love of trying new things, and a passion for connecting kids to real food.

Veggie Alter Ego

Leek

Get in Touch

Email Amina

Andrew Barrett

Program Director

About

Andrew has spent over a decade working on issues around food, hunger, and community development both at home and abroad. Originally from Tennessee, he loves the outdoors and dreams of returning to long treks in the wilderness once his children are big enough to carry their own water.

Get in Touch

Email Andrew

Zoe Behan

Grants & Development Manager

Zoe grew up in Montclair, NJ where she now lives with her family. After spending 15 years in magazine publishing, she has transitioned to the world of nonprofits and couldn’t be happier. Working at ESYNYC allows Zoe to marry her love of food and cooking with her passion for education and equity.

Veggie Alter Ego

Broccolini

Get in Touch

Email Zoe

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

Get in Touch

Email Kate

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

Tessa Finkelstein

FoodCorps Service Member,
Brooklyn Gardens Elementary

About

Prior to her FoodCorps service year with Edible Schoolyard NYC, Tessa studied Women’s Studies at her community college in Bergen County, New Jersey, and worked in a bakery and an elementary school. Tessa has a passion for health, sustainability, art, and education. She believes that no matter how different we may be from one another, we can acknowledge that we all call this beautiful, wondrous, incredible planet home. Therefore, we must honor our intrinsic responsibility to the Earth and each other.

Veggie Alter Ego

Dragon Carrot

Get in Touch

Email Tessa

 

Marissa Finn

Garden Teacher,
P.S./M.S. 7 & Global Tech Prep

About

Marissa grew up on Long Island believing that food grew in the grocery store. After two years as a FoodCorps service member in Guilford County, North Carolina, she discovered that okra is a necessity and biscuits are almost as good as bagels. Armed with a Master’s in Food Studies and years of experience teaching cooking, nutrition, and gardening, she is pumped to be back home to teach gardening in the big city.

Veggie Alter Ego

Sweet Potato

Get in Touch

Email Marissa

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

Shey Hall

FoodCorps Service Member,
P.S. 311

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

Jennifer Holder

Kitchen Teacher,
P.S./M.S. 7 & Global Tech Prep

About

A New York City native, Jennifer always knew she wanted to work in a field where she could improve the lives of others. She believes that connecting kids to healthy food is an important step forward in confronting the challenges of our ever-changing urban food system.

Happy Place

Listening to music

Get in Touch

Email Jennifer

Lizzie Honan

Vice President, Growth Strategy and Development

About

Lizzie hails from Albany, NY, where she grew up enjoying treats from her mother’s garden. After many years raising money for one of NYC’s public parks, she is thrilled to bring her love of outdoor green spaces, colorful veggies, inquisitive kids, and strategic fundraising to the Edible Schoolyard NYC team.

Happy Place

Fire Island

Get in Touch

Email Lizzie

Leonisa Johnson

Educator/Program Manager,
Evergreen 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

Hannah Joseph

Kitchen Teacher,
P.S. 216

About

Hannah grew up in Washington State, following her mom around the kitchen and exploring the great outdoors. After graduating from Whitman College with a degree in Environmental Studies and Biology, Hannah found her way to Thailand and the education world, first teaching English and later working as a field instructor for a study abroad organization. She merged her love of food and Environmental Studies and Biology as a FoodCorps Service Member in the South Bronx and is now settling into the kitchen classroom at PS 216, where she can’t wait to bring people together around the table. When not in the kitchen, you can find Hannah exploring new places via bicycle or picnicking in the park.

Favorite Cookbook

Pok Pok

Get in Touch

Email Hannah

Alex Larson

Communications and Outreach Coordinator

About

Before coming to NYC, Alex was living her greenest life, leading climbing trips and studying Community Development in the valleys, rivers, and mountains of beautiful Vermont. It was in Burlington that she truly experienced the power of community, which ignited her passion for bringing people together around food. When she’s not writing for Edible Schoolyard NYC, you can probably find her being resourceful in her humble kitchen or biking leisurely around Brooklyn, usually with a huge smile.

Veggie Alter Ego

Artichoke

Get in Touch

Email Alex

Rosa Marruffo

Program Manager,
P.S./M.S. 7 & Global Tech Prep

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

Operations and Finance Manager

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

Fabian Moreno

Kitchen Teacher,
P.S. 216

About

Born and raised in South Central, Los Angeles, Fabian is a diehard Dodgers fan. Before finding his roots at our Gravesend Demonstration school site, Fabian wore many hats in both hospitality and education.

Happy Place

A baseball field

Get in Touch

Email Fabian

Ellen Okamoto

Events and Engagement Coordinator

About

Ellen’s roots are in the mangrove forests and citrus groves of Southwest Florida. While in college, she spent summer breaks waiting tables on a tropical island, caught the “care bug,” and has been working in restaurants ever since. 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 and a need to get involved. She is thrilled to be working with kids, food, plants and of course, parties.

Veggie Alter Ego

Bird chili

Get in Touch

Email Ellen

 

Brendan Parker

Assistant Garden Manager

About

After spending three years farming a half mile from the sandy shores of Eastern Long Island, Brendan decided it was time to get out of the hustle of organic agriculture and work to reconnect our youth with our food system. When Brendan isn’t pondering the complexity of the soil food web, you can find him cleaning the carburetor of his 1977 Puch moped.

Veggie Alter Ego

Hakurei turnip

Get in Touch

Email Brendan

Elizabeth Quintero

FoodCorps Service Member, P.S. 109

About

After studying English and Environmental Studies in Chicago, Elizabeth has returned to New York. After spending time teaching children about farming in upstate New York, she discovered her passion for food and sustainable agriculture. Elizabeth enjoys exploring everything NYC has to offer as well as finding new hiking trails north of the city!

Get in Touch

Email Elizabeth

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,
P.S. 109 and P.S. 311

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

Jaimie Sanita

Garden Teacher,
P.S./M.S. 7 & Global Tech Prep

About

Jaimie was raised in the gardens of upstate New York and found her bliss in good food. After meandering briefly in the finance world and following her wanderlust around the globe, Jaimie has returned to her roots teaching food justice and edible education to New York City youth. When not in the garden, Jaimie can be found biking to a farmers market.

Happy Place

Underneath a weeping willow, anywhere

Get in Touch

Email Jaimie

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 nearly 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 husband are new parents!

Veggie Alter Ego

Aubergine

Get in Touch

Email Jessica

Allison Villa

FoodCorps New York Fellow

About

Allison grew up in Stamford, CT, just minutes from the Long Island Sound. Armed with a degree in Environmental Science from the University of Connecticut, Allison spent two years serving with FoodCorps North Carolina after graduation. While working in the Qualla Boundary, an important cultural hub to the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, she found her passion for community building and preserving tradition. As FoodCorps New York Fellow, Allison is excited to bring the values she learned during her service to New York.

Veggie Alter Ego

Potato

Get in Touch

Email Allison

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

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