Rachel Schneider – Senior Director

Rachel Schneider is a trained Waldorf teacher and farm based educator. She has had extensive experience working with children and adults in both traditional and farm based settings. In her 20 years at Hawthorne Valley Farm, Rachel initiated and developed the farm’s CSA program as well as serving as one of the growers for the HVF market garden. In 2008, she combined her passion for education with her commitment to agriculture and started the Place-Based Learning Center which provides professional training for beginning farmers as well as farm based experiences for the general public. She loves her work. Email Rachel.


Matt Davis – Director of Children’s Programming

Matt has over 17 years of experience as a farm-based educator. He has worked in the Place-Based Learning Center (PBLC) since the fall of 1999, when he became an intern in the Visiting Students Program. After finishing his internship, Matt had the opportunity to stay on with the Program as a permanent staff member. He has served the PBLC in many ways over the years, including managing the children’s gardening activities, waterfront safety at the pond, managing the Field Camp for teenagers in the summer, and codirecting the Visiting Students Program. Matt’s interest in place based learning was cultivated while he studied Sociology and Environmental Studies at the University of California San Diego.


Indigo Ocean – Program and Day Camp Manager

With a long history in both the arts and special education, Indigo’s path ultimately turned towards Waldorf education. She served on the Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School faculty for many years, receiving her Waldorf teacher training certification from Hawthorne Valley Alkion Center. She is now able to combine all of her passions for art, education, farming, and food in her role at the Place-Based Learning Center. Email Indigo.


Helen Enright – Business Manager

Helen is responsible for all the functions of a very busy office environment and has been with the program since 1999. She enjoys scheduling the class visits with the teachers, and talking with parents about all the program offerings. As a Business Manager of the program, she is involved with the financial oversight, billing process, and the maintenance of camper records. Hearing the laughter of children as they rush by her window with farm animals is one of the perks of her job. Email Helen.

Chris Wiley – Program & Camp Manager

Tessa Schmidt – Program & Camp Manager