Katy McKay - Lead Preschool Teacher/Owner
Katy McKay is the owner and lead teacher of Mother Earth's Children Preschool. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Development as well as Spanish from San Diego State University. Katy has been working in the field of early childhood education for over 25 years in various settings, including preschool teaching, center-based child care, family child care, and home-based care as a nanny. She opened Mother Earth's Children Family Child Care, now Mother Earth's Children Preschool, in 2007 after recognizing a lack of high-quality infant care options to serve her own 2 children. Katy has a great passion for connecting children with nature and strives to offer children opportunities to engage with the natural world that they might not otherwise have access to. She also values professional development and trainings in nature education in order to keep up to date with the latest research in early childhood education. Katy's interests include beachcombing, hiking, thrifting, laughing, camping, learning about other cultures, traveling, sewing, jewelry-making, and attending music festivals with her 2 teenage children, Kenya & Haven.
Kristin Kohler, Teacher
Kristin began her journey with MEC as a parent, with both of her daughters having graduated from the school. After her daughters' experience at MEC, Kristin joined our team as an assistant teacher. Wanting to immerse herself in her own personal nature connection learning journey, Kristin relocated to attend the Anake Outdoor School/The Immersion Program at Wilderness Awareness School in Duvall, WA, completing the program with a naturalist certification. Upon her return to CA, Kristin returned as co-teacher at MEC, where she has continued her journey as nature educator since Winter of 2022. Before re-discovering the wonders of the outdoor world as an adult and mom, Kristin worked as a professional chef for 15 years and always brings her passion for cooking and feeding people to whatever she does. She enjoys spending time with her partner, Dan, daughters Adalynn and Emma, and their puppy Robi, as well as many extended family members. Favorite other-than-human beings include Bay tree, Willow, Oak, all puppies, Fire, Spotted Towhee, and currently any plant fiber that can be twisted into natural cordage. Kristin is also a student of anti-racism, which she sees as a life-long journey of inner tracking and decolonization.
Alana McGrath, Teacher
Alana joined the MEC community when her son started preschool in the Fall of 2022. She has 7 years of classroom experience with children ages 2-6. She holds a Montessori teaching credential and worked as a teacher and assistant administrator of a Montessori School, which laid a foundation for her work in early childhood education. She has since worked in Reggio Emilia and nature play-based programs. She values child-led, experiential learning, and from her own childhood growing up in the Santa Cruz mountains has harbored a strong connection and fascination with the natural world. Alana is an artist and musician. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Music, with a minor in creative writing, and enjoys all kinds of creative pursuits. She had a childhood rich in the arts and worked for many years after college doing hand painted finishes for her father's decorative arts business. She is also interested in permaculture and its application towards restoring and supporting our communities and lands, and strives to lead a homesteading lifestyle. She lives in rural Petaluma with her husband (Barnaby), children (Bruce and Llewyn), cat (Winslow), and four goats (Hollyhock, Sweetpea, Beans, and Toast). She spends her free time in the garden, and going for rambling explores with her family.