Team

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

Amina Bahloul

FoodCorps Service Member,
P.S. 109

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

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

Kitchen Teacher,
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

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

Megan Gilbert

Kitchen Teacher,
P.S. 216

About

Growing up in the rural hills of Upstate New York, Megan fell in love with fresh food working alongside her father in her family’s garden. After spending the last two years in the corn fields of Iowa, Megan is excited to continue to share her love of good food as a kitchen teacher at P.S. 216.

Veggie Alter Ego

Sweet Potato

Get in Touch

Email Megan

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

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

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

FoodCorps Service Member,
P.S. 311

About

Originally from Washington state, Hannah spent the past three years perfecting her khao soi recipe while working as a field instructor in the fields, forests, and oceans of Thailand. She joins Edible Schoolyard NYC with a background in experiential education and a serious love of all things food and new.

Favorite Cookbook

Pok Pok

Get in Touch

Email Hannah

Alex Larson

Development and Communications Assistant

Get in Touch

Email Alex

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

Julia Middleton

Educator/Program Manager,
Evergreen and Brooklyn Gardens Elementary

About

From the back porch of her childhood home in Chicago to vacant lots in Brooklyn, Julia has supported urban youth development initiatives with Slow Food USA, Growing Power, and Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation. A lover of popsicles and allergic to purple vegetables, Julia is thrilled to be urban exploring alongside the students at Evergreen.

Veggie Alter Ego

Artichoke

Get in Touch

Email Julia

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

Olivia Parker

Program Manager,
P.S. 216

About

Olivia grew up in the wilds of Marin County, California. Prior to working at P.S. 216 in Brooklyn, Olivia worked both on the farm and in the restaurant at Stone Barns and for Haven’s Kitchen. When she isn’t exploring the city’s incredible array of restaurants, you’ll find her making dinner at home, stir-frying in her beloved wok.

Veggie Alter Ego

Jalapeno

Get in Touch

Email Olivia

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

Imelda Rodriguez

FoodCorps Service Member, Evergreen Middle School

About

Born and raised in the Bay Area, Melda attended Syracuse University where she received her BA in Food Studies. While in Syracuse, she co-founded the first academically-recognized Food Studies club in the nation. Prior to Edible Schoolyard NYC, she worked for the Mural, Music, and Arts Project; Loaves & Fishes Soup Kitchen; and Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund. She continues to bring her Food Studies knowledge and passion to students by educating them about the importance of the food system.

Happy Place

Sharing a meal with friends and family

Get in Touch

Email Imelda

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

Annette Slonim

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

About

A Seattle native, Annette came to New York by way of Montreal, where she developed a strong interest in food, community, and health. Prior to Edible Schoolyard NYC, Annette worked with the nonprofit HealthCorps, where she discovered her passion for youth food education.

Happy Place

Sharing a meal with friends

Get in Touch

Email Annette

Kate Sutton

FoodCorps Service Member, Brooklyn Gardens Elementary

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

Rachel Terry

FoodCorps Fellow

About

Rachel came to Edible Schoolyard NYC through a partnership with FoodCorps. She is inspired by instilling a sense of agency within our youth as they reconnect to the food that nourishes us. On any given night, you can undoubtedly find her listening to Norah Jones and cooking for friends and family.

Favorite Cookbook

Plenty More

Get in Touch

Email Rachel

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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