The Samara Team


Rachel Larimore, Ph.D.

Jane Weir

David Catlin


  • Chief Visionary

    瑞秋是一位教育家、演说家、顾问和多本书的作者,包括 Establishing a Nature-Based Preschool, 超越围墙的学前教育:融合幼儿教育与自然学习, and 评价自然:测量幼儿园至三年级自然课堂的质量. 她的热情和专长是有意地将自然融入幼儿教育中,以促进幼儿的全面发展.

    Prior to establishing Samara Early Learning, 瑞秋在米德兰的奇佩瓦自然中心(CNC)创办了美国最早的以自然为基础的幼儿园之一, MI. 2007年创建的幼儿园是她担任教育总监15年任期的一部分. She continued as the director of the program until 2016 when, at her departure, 该项目每年通过公共和私人资金来源为140名儿童提供服务. 在CNC任职期间,她还共同主持了自然中心600万美元的资本扩张项目, which was completed in 2010. 扩建项目包括一座约5000平方英尺的LEED金牌认证幼儿园建筑. During her time at CNC, 雷切尔领导了与布洛克溪学校的合作,在公立学校系统内创建了一个以自然为基础的幼儿园和一年级.

    Rachel earned her Ph.D. from Michigan State University’s Department of Teacher Education; a M.A. in Park and Recreation Administration from Central Michigan University; and a B.S. in Natural Resource Recreation and Tourism, with an emphasis in interpretation, from Colorado State University. Rachel has been recognized for her work by various organizations including the National Association for Interpretation Region 4’s in 2012 with the “Master Interpretive Manager” recognition; First State Bank’s “RUBY Award” in 2013 for professionals under the age of 40; and Exchange Magazine in 2015 with the “Promising Early Care and Education Leader” award. For even more about Rachel, visit

    Click here 如果你有兴趣让瑞秋在你的会议或专业学习研讨会上发言.

    Learn more about Rachel’s current research here.

  • Principle Pocketknife

    简在俄亥俄州出生和长大,现在住在密歇根州(我们知道... but she’s great despite that—ha!作为一个有两个活泼的孩子和一只小狗的单身母亲,她在底线上很忙. But that’s where she thrives. She is a tea lover, workout enthusiast, and obsessed with organization. 尽管她开始从事生物化学研究,但她在小企业中找到了自己的激情. She helped grow and build an online e-comm business, but when the 60+ hour work week kept her from her kids too often, she pivoted. 现在,她利用自己多年的经验来经营和发展一家企业, to serve other business owners, and help them do the same. That’s where Samara comes in—she helps us accomplish All. The. Things. She happily wears all of the hats. And, she’s our go-to-person to make things happen. That’s why she’s our cherished pocketknife!

  • Consultant

    David Catlin在Samara Early Learning的工作主要集中在基于自然的早期儿童教育的管理方面,特别是与业务规划和运营相关的问题. 他和瑞秋于2014年开始合作,为希望开办自己的自然幼儿园的组织和个人提供商业规划支持.  

    David将他35年的职业生涯奉献给了自然中心和环境学习中心领域. He started with degrees in environmental education and interpretation. He then spent 16 years with the Missouri Department of Conservation, 帮助规划和启动该机构的自然中心网络达六年之久,后来又管理其斯普林菲尔德自然保护中心达十年之久. In 2000, he signed on with the National Audubon Society. For 15 years, 他在那里的职责包括支持该组织由40多个中心组成的全国网络,并监督全国16个新设施的启动——评估站点, facilitating strategic and business planning, selecting architects and exhibit design teams, training staff, 并作为解决问题和回答问题的内部资源. Since 2015, he has done similar work for nature centers across the U.S. through his firm David Catlin Consulting LLC. He has also worked as a writer, speaker, and capital campaign counsel. You can learn more about David and his recent work at

  • Director of Joy

    汉克是一只德国短毛猎犬(“GSP”),他喜欢花时间在户外,在沙发上打盹. 他特别喜欢指着鸟,让松鼠排成一行,追逐影子. In fact, 他是一个影子鉴赏家,可以很容易地分辨出飞过头顶的蝴蝶或鸟,而不是试图欺骗他的人.

    Hank has been with Samara Early Learning since its inception as he, like the other SEL team members, has a passion for nature-based play. 他在团队中的主要职责是提醒每个人,生活太重要了,不能太认真,我们应该尽可能多地找到快乐的时刻. In fact, 他在计算60分钟和提醒他的妈妈(我们的首席梦想家)方面有一个令人难以置信的诀窍, (Rachel Larimore)是时候结束会议,去找点乐子了. Maybe a frisbee throwing break?! Or a squeak toy?!


A bit more about our titles…

→“首席梦想家”,因为组织中必须有人专注于整体目标, or the WHY, of the work being done. This was inspired by the work of Simon Sinek.

→“小刀原则”,因为她是我们实现目标的人. All. The. Things.


Books by Samara’s Founder—Rachel Larimore