Kristy DuChateau comes to Grow LaCrosse with a passion for connecting children to their food source. As a previous Farm to School Educator, she has recognized the big disconnect for people with where our food comes from and how it gets onto our plates. Her mission in life is to bridge that gap, especially for the youth, so they understand the process of growing food; from the planting of a seed to caring for that growing plant and when the time comes, enjoying it's harvest. Kristy also has a passion for the outdoors, whether she is hiking, gardening or playing in the backyard with her family, she tries to be out in nature as much as possible. Kristy is on the Education Committee for the YMCA's Food Forest and she is a Registered Yoga Instructor and loves to teach all ages the benefits of practicing yoga.
Program Director for Hamilton and SOTA 1 Schools
Kari Bersagel Braley is one of the co-founders of Grow Your Brain. She has worked in education for 12 years as a special education teacher, elementary classroom teacher and a literacy teacher. She is a mother and wife who feels passionately about buying and eating locally grown food. She believes in the benefits of educating her own children and the children in the community about healthy living and working to ensure that all children have access to healthy food. In her free time Kari enjoys hiking in the bluffs with her family, practicing yoga, and eating delicious food around the table with good friends and family.
Before joining GROW La Crosse Jamie O'Neill earned a master's degree in Community Health Education from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. While earning this degree, she created and executed a garden curriculum for the Family and Children’s Center, the YMCA and pre-schools. More than 125 students have tested and helped improve this curriculum. Prior to grad school, Jamie was a teacher in Switzerland. She also went through the Master Gardeners course and Will Allen’s Growing Power workshop. Along with gardening, Jamie enjoys many activities outdoors like biking, skiing and hiking
Ana Skemp’s background in biology/ecology allows the participants to experience learning about their food and where it comes from an in depth level. For example children will learn how plants turn sun into energy during photosynthesis. Ana has experience teaching in a school setting and has led cooking classes for youth. She is a farmer and the owner of Deep Roots Community Farm where they grow produce to sell at the Farmer’s Market.
Josh is the lead teacher for the School of Technology and Arts II, School District of La Crosse. He is an avid home gardener and teaches summer school classes in the State Road Grow La Crosse school garden. He teaches our cooking classes at the YMCA and has had amazing results. He also helped build the outdoor pizza oven at the farm.
Linda has just recently returned to the La Crosse area after spending 10 years in the pacific northwest. She attended Western Washington University where she received her Bachelor's in Education. Linda comes to grow with a passion for education, specifically hands-on learning. As Maintenance Director she leads after-school programs and supports the school gardens.