We LOVE Our Educators — Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

We are blessed to have so many excellent educators at Indian Creek Nature Center, both on staff and teacher naturalists that generously volunteer their time, talents, and expertise.

Director of Education Kelli Kennon-Lane had these kind words to share about her team:

Andria Cossolotto

Education Manager

A wealth of knowledge, Andria’s leadership on our public program offerings and field trips have cemented her commitment to creating Champions of Nature. She is most ‘at home’ on the land with students, especially those that attend Fresh Air Academy. She just has a natural presence while teaching that people of all ages find refreshing. I am so glad she is our Education Manager.

Emily Roediger

Senior Naturalist

She’s our Senior Naturalist for a reason! Her commitment to providing a quality experience to boy and girl scouts, families attending Trail Trekkers, students and teachers on field trips, and even casual visitors sets the bar for our organization. I especially love watching her flip a log with children, digging into the decomposing wood on the hunt for crawly critters.

Rachel Bailey

Registrar & Volunteer Coordinator

Rachel touches every component of our educational programming. Whether it be a special event, public program, Creekside Forest School, Fresh Air Academy, or a volunteer event – she does it all! Our education team at ICNC is complete with Rachel. I appreciate her organization, calm demeanor, kindness, and how she always makes time to check in with her coworkers to build relationships.

Nicole Upchurch

Lead Preschool Teacher

She can sing. She is bilingual. She is an Iowa Master Naturalist. Who knows how many instruments she can play?! She is OUR lead preschool teacher! Nicole is a treasure for our program, especially in meeting the social and emotional needs of preschoolers, challenging them at *just* the right moment in their development, and supporting the families of our students.

Morgan Bryant

Assistant Preschool Teacher

Morgan’s expertise in child development and ability to support the entire family makes her a tremendous asset to Creekside Forest School. Her energy is hard to beat, too! If I can’t find Morgan, I know that she’s probably on her hands and knees with a preschooler, examining something cool they found while on a prairie hike. She does an exceptional job of acknowledging and honoring the pace of the students we serve.

Betsy Bostian

Preschool Specialist

When arriving at school we often hear children say, “Yay! It’s a Betsy Day!” Betsy is our part-time Preschool Specialist and the children adore her, and for good reason. Betsy is kind, approachable, calm under pressure, and loves to have fun. She’s not scared of a challenge and always comes ready for an adventure.

In addition to our wonderful staff, we are also blessed to work with so many talented and enthusiastic volunteer teacher naturalists. Volunteers unselfishly add an amazing source of energy and community support. All aspects of the Nature Center are enriched by the dedication of our volunteers.
“ICNC allows me to teach the fun stuff to kids of all ages. Teaching children about nature in Iowa is a reminder to me how important spending time outdoors is for everyone, even in bad weather, and just a couple hours of my time can make a huge difference in a child’s experience.”
– Jenni Semelroth, Volunteer Teacher-Naturalist
Interested in teaching at the Nature Center? Get involved today by applying to volunteer, or apply for our open Preschool Specialist position. 
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