Meet the Schoolyard Roots Staff

We are fortunate at Schoolyard Roots to have a dedicated, committed, and passionate group of individuals who thrive on their work. Their passion for garden-based education makes our great state healthier and more sustainable, one child at a time.

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Stephanie Reinhart

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Stephanie received her Bachelor’s degree in Outdoor Education from Ohio University and her Master’s in Health Promotion from The University of Alabama. Prior to joining the Schoolyard Roots team, she designed and managed a variety of recreation programs at the collegiate and community non-profit levels. Combining her interests in outdoor pursuits and healthy lifestyles, she is thrilled to be part of an organization that introduces children to the art and science of gardening. Stephanie and her husband Keegan met as whitewater raft guides on the Ocoee River and cherish every opportunity to explore Alabama’s natural resources with their son and daughter, Everett and Charlotte.

director@schoolyardroots.org    205.523.5450

 

Nicole Gelb Dugat
G2S PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Nicole comes to Schoolyard Roots with over a decade of experience working in Food Education across the U.S. She has taught at nonprofit and Permaculture farms, and most recently at a world-class school garden program in New Orleans. She holds a degree in Experiential Education, and when she’s not working you can find her painting plants or planting flower seeds and tending honey bees in her backyard.

nicole@schoolyardroots.org

Becca Gardner

EDUCATION COORDINATOR

Becca, an Alabama-native, has a degree in Zoology from LSU and is a former high school math teacher. She enjoys hiking, exploring, traveling, and making a variety of teas with fresh ingredients from the garden.

becca@schoolyardroots.org

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Kate Brundrett

TEACHING FELLOW

Kate comes to us with a degree in
Environmental Science from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). Aside from her triathlon training and dog-cuddling, Kate has a passion for promoting a healthy lifestyle and enjoyable learning experiences for students.

kate@schoolyardroots.org

 

Casey Vinson
SUSTAINABILITY FELLOW

Casey’s education has focused on geography and GIS. He hopes to use what he has learned to further his career in sustainability. He believes gardens can serve as a resource for learning how to feed yourself or local communities. He likes to spend as much time as possible on slacklines, in caves, or on walks with his dog.

casey@schoolyardroots.org 

 

 

Tom Rathe
TRANSITION SCHOOL MANAGER

Coming from Central Virginia where he has spent countless hours gardening as both a personal hobby and full-time occupation, Tom is thrilled to share his passion and enthusiasm for growing vegetables with students and teachers alike. He is also an avid folk musician and loves going on hikes with his dog, Dolly.

tom@schoolyardroots.org

 

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Natalie Wulf
TEACHING FELLOW

Natalie Wulf recently graduated from The University of Alabama with a degree in civil engineering. She co-teaches garden lessons, assists the garden committee, and facilitates school and community events at two of our second year schools. 
 

natalie@schoolyardroots.org

 

Rachael Floyd
DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR

 A native of Atlanta, Rachael joins the Schoolyard Roots team with multiple years of non-profit experience and her B.A. in Religion & Social Justice from Agnes Scott College. She is passionate about helping Southern communities thrive and believes Schoolyard Roots is one piece of that puzzle. When she isn’t working, she is likely out hiking or dreaming about her future garden. 

rachael@schoolyardroots.org

 

Riley Giles
PUBLIC RELATIONS COORDINATOR

Riley graduated from the University of Alabama in 2017 with a B.A in film and communications. Riley has a passion for storytelling that makes a difference, and hopes to improve the community by sharing the story of Schoolyard Roots. In his free time, Riley enjoys video gaming, spoiling his cat rotten, and thinking about saving the bees. 

riley@schoolyardroots.org

   

Davie Higginbotham
OFFICE MANAGER

A Tuscaloosa area native, Davie is a recent graduate of The University of Alabama with a major in advertising and a minor in sociology. Outside of work, his time is most likely to be spent with a good book  or history-related podcast.

davie@schoolyardroots.org

   

 

Each semester, Schoolyard Roots receives several part-time students through the Federal Work Study program, administered by The University of Alabama.

 

OUR BOARD

Noel Amason Lindsey Deal Molly Ingram W. Ryan Stallings
Karen Bownes Adelaide Drennen Emily Wolfe Leigh Rebecca Young
Catherine Bridgers Fleta Edwards Sarah Moore  
Anna Burns Dr. Wes Hollowell Jennifer Schmitt