Founding Director and
Shannon cares deeply about the environment and about children. A mother of five, she wants her children and other young people to love and to respect the earth. With this in mind, she founded Thrive Outside.
Shannon is also a Landscape Architect and started the firm Synergy Design, LLC. She is currently dedicating her work to creating designs for outdoor learning environments in schools through Thrive Outside.
She has been recognized for her work by the Rhode Island non-profit Save Bristol Harbor who awarded her the Joseph Arruda Environmental Stewardship Award, and Rhode Island Monthly named her a "Rhode Islander of the Year" for initiating a major renovation of the landscape surrounding her children's school and creating an outdoor learning environment there.
From growing up on a farm in Oregon to living in Rhode Island, Tiffany has always appreciated the benefits of spending time outside. She is committed to working to provide all children the opportunity to learn and play in nature.
Before moving to Rhode Island, Tiffany practiced law at a mid-size firm in Los Angeles, California as an associate, then partner. She served on the firm's recruiting committee and was a recipient of the firm's annual pro bono service award. She also served as a law clerk in the United States District Court in the Central District of California. Tiffany graduated with general and departmental honors from Vassar College with a degree in Biopsychology and earned her J.D. from UCLA School of Law.
Tiffany, her husband and their two children live in Bristol, RI where they enjoy exploring nature and learning to garden.
Sheila has spent the past five years studying the local public education system and advocating for better funding/resources, improving student access to enrichment and support programs, and working towards a learning community in which every student is appreciated for their unique background and point of view.
From 2006 to 2015 Sheila served as an advisor, counselor, DSO (Designated School Official for immigration purposes), and housing coordinator for international students coming from countries such as Brazil, China, Saudi Arabia, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, and Ecuador. Prior to that, she worked as a Supported Employment Specialist and Career Counselor, assisting youth and adults struggling with mental illness, poverty or other challenges.
Sheila has briefly lived abroad in France and Mexico, and traveling is a favorite pastime. She enjoys studying the Wisdom Wheel (a form of medicine wheel) and other Native American teachings around wellness and Earth stewardship. Sheila also writes stories she hopes will remind children they have the wisdom and strength to overcome any failings of the adults in charge. She has been published by Highlights Magazine and Ember magazine and is (STILL) working on a children’s book.
Sheila, her husband and their two children live in Warren, RI where they regularly hike, play tennis, explore the marsh, look for horseshoe crabs, keep nature journals and are learning to leave a lighter footprint.
Outdoor Teaching and Learning Education Consultant
Kristin has more than 20 years experience helping schools and districts, community-based organizations, landscape architects, and funders make outdoor teaching and learning more effective, accessible, and sustainable.
She loves working with educators to harness the excitement and curiosity students feel outdoors; and finding ways to use that excitement to help students learn to ask questions, communicate their ideas, collect and analyze data, design investigations, think critically, collaborate with peers, and contribute to the broader community.
Kristin helped lead Boston Public Schools (BPS) to a position of national leadership in taking teaching outdoors as the Director of Education for the Boston Schoolyard Initiative from 2000-2013.
She is committed to building schools’ and districts’ in-house capacity to support outdoor teaching over time. Whether the goal is improving instructional quality, outdoor classroom design, or curriculum content she advocates taking a strategic long-term approach.
Social Media Director
Katherine’s interest in nature began at an early age. Growing up in Tiverton, she would often go on hikes in Weetamoo Woods. The time spent outdoors evoked a love and appreciation for nature.
She graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a B.A in Communications and began her professional career in real estate working for a title insurance company. Katherine recently left the workforce to focus on raising a family and hopes one day her son can enjoy the benefits of having an outdoor learning zone at his school!
Having a childhood where much time was spent exploring outdoors, she is passionate about spreading the word to the community about Thrive Outside and its core mission.
Katherine, her husband and son live in Warren, RI. Together they enjoy going for walks on the bike path, exploring around Colt Park and trying local restaurants