Will Parish, Founder and President
Will Parish is a credentialed public high school science educator with a 38-year record of innovative accomplishments in the environmental and educational fields. He taught environmental science and civics at Gateway High School in San Francisco for ten years, and served on its board of trustees. He served on the California State Board of Education Instructional Quality Commission and then founded Ten Strands as a nonprofit organization to support California’s efforts to achieve statewide integration of high-quality environment-based education into all California’s public K–12 schools.
Karen Cowe, Chief Executive Officer
Karen Cowe is an education-industry executive with over 30 years of experience in sales and fund development, marketing, program design, professional learning, business development, and operations. Prior to joining Ten Strands, she was president and chief executive officer of Key Curriculum Press, an innovative and award-winning K–12 STEM publisher. Before that, she was managing director of Burlington Books in Athens, Greece. In addition to her understanding of the complexities of the US education landscape, she has valuable insights into education in other nations, having built relationships in Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. Karen holds a bachelor in business and a minor in education from Saint John’s College, York and a master of business administration from Saint Mary’s College, California.
Celeste Royer, Interim Director of Equity and Inclusion
Celeste Royer is a veteran administrator with 35 years of experience in environmental and outdoor education. As director of environmental education at the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education, she directed Rancho El Chorro Outdoor School’s residential, field, and classroom programs. As director of the California Regional Environmental Education Community Network, she built regional and statewide partnerships to support environmental education programs and initiatives. She also provided 30 years of leadership and support to the California Outdoor School Association. A strong advocate of environmental literacy for all, Celeste serves on numerous boards and advisory committees of organizations that promote equity and justice in environmental education, including Youth Outside and UC Berkeley’s BEETLES Project. Celeste holds degrees from UCLA, SFSU, and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Jilliann Rodriguez M'Barki, Director of Development
Jilliann Rodriguez M’Barki brings more than 20 years of experience in higher education. Jilliann’s development career began at her alma mater Hofstra University, followed by 15 years at Columbia University in leadership roles in student affairs, research administration, and constituent engagement. She received an MS in fundraising and nonprofit management and an EdM in higher and postsecondary education from Columbia University. Most recently, she served as the director of development in the College of Letters & Science at the University of California, Berkeley.
Kirk Anne Taylor, Director of Community Engagement
Kirk Anne Taylor is a collaborative leader with more than 20 years experience in nonprofit and educational institutions. As director of community engagement, Kirk Anne leads Ten Strands policy initiatives, manages communications, and supports strategic partnerships. Prior to joining Ten Strands, Kirk Anne served as the inaugural executive director of ChangeScale, a partnership of more than 50 nonprofit organizations, school districts, government agencies, and foundations working together to equitably advance environmental learning in the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas.
Amy Frame, K–12 Program Manager
Dr. Amy Frame is a credentialed teacher who has worked at almost every level of the school system, from teaching English, history, and science to coaching and managing curriculum implementation and leading as a principal. She has worked in public, magnet, charter, and independent schools. Amy has a MEd in Instructional Leadership from Harvard Graduate School of Education and an EdD in Educational Leadership from UCLA where she published her dissertation, “Assessing the Efficacy of Environmental Education on Environmental Stewardship, Civic Engagement, and College and Career Pathways.” She is committed to building stronger connections between people, communities, and the land.
Antonia Smith, Development & Communications Coordinator
Antonia Smith has a BA in cultural anthropology from the College of William and Mary in Virginia, where she also studied environmental science and policy. Prior to joining Ten Strands, Antonia worked as a tutor and mentor for K–12 students in San Francisco, as well as for a public relations firm and start-ups in New York City and Washington, DC. Since joining Ten Strands in early 2018, she has loved contributing to and building support for programs that combine her interests in the environment and education, and that encourage new generations of environmentally literate young people.
Loren Sanchez, Operations Associate
Loren Sanchez is an administrative professional with a background in operations; human resources; diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies; and marketing. Prior to joining Ten Strands, she managed office operations for a solar technology nonprofit focused on advancing environmental justice through renewable energy. She received a BA in art history and ethnic studies from the University of La Verne and a certificate in nonprofit management from Cal Poly Pomona. She is heavily involved in her community through her volunteer efforts as marketing chair for the Pick Group of Young Professionals and as a board member for Feeding America, Riverside and San Bernardino. Apart from working towards environmental literacy for all, you can find her dancing in grocery store aisles or spending time with her husband and their four fur babies (and counting).
Joel Gingold is a finance and accounting executive with more than 40 years of experience in both public and private industry. Prior to joining Ten Strands, Joel worked at Key Curriculum Press for 17 years as the chief financial officer. Joel also spent 17 years at Bregante + Company, a San Francisco-based CPA firm, where he specialized in accounting and taxation for small business, including nonprofits.
Maya Gingold is pleased to provide bookkeeping services for Ten Strands, where she is able to combine her interests in environmental education and background in early childhood and elementary education. Maya grew up with an appreciation for the outdoors and a commitment to environmental stewardship. As a parent, Maya is looking to the future for not only her children, but all children in California. She recognizes that Ten Strands can and will make a difference for every one of them.
Cover photo credit: Pamela Heckel