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Board Members

GROW La Crosse is a non-profit organization formed by enthusiastic parents and community members who connect children to health food and nature through school gardens and farm experiences.

These amazing individuals guide our organization.  

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President - Jenny Klein

My interest in GROW stems from my roles as an educator and mother.  There is a large body of evidence suggesting that kids learn most effectively when immersed in rich environments that stimulate their natural curiosity and encourage learning through play and experimentation.  Unfortunately, these environments are scarce in traditional school curricula. With over a decade of experience designing active learning environments and an interest in biology, nature, and gardening, I am able to contribute to building these environments in our elementary schools through GROW.

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Vice President - Judson Steinback

Judd comes to us with a lot of knowledge on plants and education.  Judd was a teacher at the La Crosse Waldorf School and then transitioned into running a business Coulee Region Ecoscapes.  We appreciate having Judd's knowledge and point of view on our board.  

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Annie Berendes- Secretary and Treasurer

Annie loves to garden at home and enjoys working with children. She wants to engage the community and enhance education through GROW. Annie is excited to be apart of this team and for the opportunity to learn from each other.

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Abby Lee

Abby comes with a great passion for connecting children to healthy food and nature.  She and her daughter attended Grow La Crosse's Inspired Little Hands on the Farm last year.  Abby has experience with nonprofits and fundraising.

 
Katie Wagoner. Photo by Pa Moua-Yang. University Communications.

Katie Wagoner

Katie is excited to be a part of GROW because GROW's work aligns well with her professional and personal interests. She has her bachelor's degree in nutrition and a master's degree in public health. Katie has been working in health education and nutrition education since 2004. In addition, Katie is excited to be a part of GROW because as a mom of two, she has seen first-hand the importance of teaching children where food comes from and what it takes for food to get to their plate.

 

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Grace Janssen

Grace has always been interested in gardening and food sustainability efforts. During her time as an Environmental Conversation Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay she worked with local high school and middle school classes to establish school gardens and helped start a high school youth group dedicated to training participants to be environmental leaders in their community. She views GROW as an extension of these past passion projects and is excited to get involved.

 

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Sarah Pember

My original career path was in elementary education, and I taught in Northern and Central Virginia schools, as well as north of Austin, Texas.  I am now a professor of School Health Education, so I have experience working with teacher candidates and lesson planning.

Other previous jobs have included working as a “Foodie” in a small grocery store, teaching cooking classes for their plant-based eating program and writing a food blog.

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Adrian Lipscombe

Adrian comes with a lot of great experience on food and architecture.  She has gained momentum in the food movement as she recently was in New York and hosted the James Beard House’s Juneteenth celebration.

Adrian also owns and operates Uptowne Cafe and Bakery on the Northside of La Crosse.  She moved her with her family from Austin, Texas in 2017.