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. Email Matt.


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.

Betsy Brennan – Program, Field Camp & Operations Manager

Betsy first came to Hawthorne Valley in 2002 as a visiting student. Her farm trip made such an impression on her that she continued to return year after year as a summer camper and then counselor, until she joined the Place-Based Learning Center as a full-time program and summer camp manager in 2018. Betsy studied Germanic Language and Literature at the University of Maryland, after which she journeyed to the Midwest to fulfill a life-long dream of intentional living by joining the Camphill Village in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. The time there was life-changing, and though she felt called back East, the reverberations of the experience there remain with her. She is grateful to return to Hawthorne Valley with a renewed understanding of land stewardship and human relationships. Witnessing raw childhood and growth through challenge is her favorite part of her work. Email Betsy.


Tessa Schmidt – Program & Camp Manager