Drew Harwell (he/him) Director, Lead After-school Mentor, and Lead Summer Camp Mentor
Drew Harwell is the founder and director of Pathfinders Nature Mentoring. He is a nature awareness and Permaculture mentor with over 26 years of experience working with children, teens and adults in nature and garden settings. As a child, he spent a lot of time exploring the Foothills and Baylands of Palo Alto in Ramaytush Ohlone Territory, as well as gardening at the community garden behind the main library with his family. At the age of 17 he spent a month backpacking in the Wind River Wilderness of Wyoming with the National Outdoor Leadership School. Those experiences nurtured his passions and planted the seeds for his career.
His style of mentoring is to help students explore nature through their individual passions and creativity. He uses experiential activities, storytelling, songs and the art of questioning to inspire curiosity in others in developing their relationship with the natural world. Whether he is working in the garden or wandering in the hills, he loves to connect people to the healing powers of nature. He has a BA from Prescott College in Environmental Restoration and was trained in nature awareness and regenerative design at the Regenerative Design Institute. He is a lecturer in the Stanford Graduate School of Education, where he mentors Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP) teacher candidates in garden education for elementary schools. He has worked as a guide and mentor for the Exploring a Sense of Place program, Tender Tracks and the Riekes Center. He is the former manager of the Common Ground Demonstration Garden and the Stanford Community Farm. He loves to spend family time with his wife and two children exploring the foothills, baylands and local creeks.
Teresa Gonsoski (she/her) Lead Preschool Mentor (M-F)
Teresa Gonsoski is an early childhood educator with over fifteen years of experience working with children zero through five years. Born and raised in San Francisco, she loved playing in the small wild spaces of her neighborhood, including Ocean Beach, the nearby grassy hill below the reservoir, and her backyard. It was also where she learned she loved working with young children, when in high school, she volunteered at the preschool she had attended as a child, Sunset Nursery Co-op.
She truly developed a love for the outdoors after spending several years exploring the redwoods in Santa Cruz and discovering the joys of car camping. This eventually led to becoming a volunteer backpacking trip leader for the Sierra Club, as well as organizing campouts for families and backpacking trips for adults with Trails Together. In the meantime, she also began working in the child care field, with an emphasis on the outdoors, creating "yes" environments, and allowing children to take risks. She shares her passion for working with children as faculty at Foothill College, teaching with the Teacher Pipeline Program.
Teresa has a BA in Art History from UC Santa Cruz and a Masters in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College. She is Wilderness First Aid certified. She is excited that she gets to be in nature with children every day with Pathfinders. In her spare time, she continues to enjoy the outdoors as a hiker, trail runner, backpacker, and gourmet campout chef. She lives in the redwoods near Skyline Blvd., with her husband and two cats.
Caroline Skrobak joined Pathfinders in the fall of 2023 after completing an education internship with Hidden Villa. Before that, they worked as a ranger aide with the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District and learned about the interconnectivity of local organizations working towards climate action. They are excited to be part of a team that prioritizes nature appreciation and immersive, community based learning experiences.
With most of their family in the Czech Republic, Caroline nurtured a nature connection beginning in South Moravia through biking, hiking, and searching for geocaches with their cousins and friends. They currently live in the foothills of the Santa Cruz mountains in their childhood home. Caroline has a B.A. in environmental studies and cultural anthropology from the University of San Francisco. They are currently working towards a certificate with AEOE in Environmental Education. They have seven years experience working with children in kindergarten-high school with a focus on Teaching English as a Second Language.
Star Burton (they/them) After-school Mentor (T/W/Th)