EPIC’s Learning Team
A BC Ministry Certified teacher onsite with children two days per week. They oversee home learning component, SLP and be the interface with NIDES.
Ocean-lover, forest bather, mountain climber, and lover of forming communities with kids in nature, Megan Grupe is a Pacific Northwest native, but originally from the state side (Oregon!). Having spent the last decade and a half living up and down the west coast of North and Central America, she has fallen in love with nature-connection and navigating these spaces with others from the rainforests of Costa Rica, to the kelp forests of sunny San Diego, the rocky intertidal of the Pacific Northwest, and most recently the forests of Victoria BC with Oak & Orca’s Forest School/DL Program.
With a goofy, patient, empathetic, kind, gracious, and warm motherly energy she comes at teaching with curiosity and delight, believing that she acts as both a facilitator and participant in the learning environment. She holds a Bachelors in Marine Biology & Environmental Science from University of Oregon and a Masters in Education from University San Diego, California and is a B.C. certified teacher. She participated heavily in the Knowles Teaching Initiative Fellowship as well. All of these experiences have contributed to her passion and love of teaching while thinking critically about how to create harmonious learning environments with organic rhythm and flow that channel the diversity and beauty each human brings to the learning community. Much of her classroom teaching background is with teaching math and science to middle school and high school aged humans, but she has worked in outdoor education with humans of all ages and also with families to create learning at home. She has also done a multitude of training around teaching mindfulness, yoga, and self-compassion practices to littles and loves to incorporate this into her teaching style.
Outside of being a teacher, she calls herself mom to a beautiful, lively, and creative 2 year old daughter and wife to a tall avid gardener and deep sea biologist. She is very much looking forward to meeting and working with each and every one of you to create and build community together.
Additional educators, specifically with outdoor wilderness awareness training. A mentor is present onsite all 3 days.
Francie Morgan is a gardener of delicious food, relationships and curiosity. She can usually be found outdoors taking in the slug/moss/tree’s eye view, scaling mountains with her adventurous family and sharing her enthusiasm for nature. She is a believer in diverse community, mending, music and of surrounding one’s self with plants at all times.
As a settler in New Brunswick, Francie grew up living between the traditional territories of the Passamaquoddy and W∂last∂kwiyik (Maliseet) peoples. She and her forest biologist partner moved to Lekwungen territory of Victoria in 2011 and quickly feel in love. In 2013 she graduated with a joint degree in Environmental and Gender/Indigenous Studies. She has had the greater privilege of nurturing many friends through the passage into motherhood as their Doula. Being a Doula is fundamental to the way Francie understands and navigates the world, especially now as the mother of a sensitive and curious 2.5 year old.
For the past six years Francie has loved being a member or the education team at Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary where her focus was primarily on place based ecological programs and home school science courses. She has seen firsthand the transformative power of nature on community and self and believes strongly that nature herself is the best mentor. Whether in laughter, sprint or silence Francie looks forward to meeting your children where they are at on their journey to self and world discovery.
Cilla Holmes is a graphic designer and writer, a visual and narrative arts teacher, a lover of ink, clay, and campfire ballads, maker of tiny wool skeletons, driftwood looms, and fairy apothecaries. Kids, including her own, are her favorite creative co-conspirators. In 2009 Cilla moved from the American east coast to Vancouver with her Canadian partner and spent a decade training in fine arts, creative arts education, literacy and counseling, and raised a family while working as a Reggio Emilia inspired instructor and educational documentarian at the Lyceum of Literature & Art. She holds a certificate in Fine Arts & Design from Emily Carr University, completed her graduate work in creative writing at the Stonecoast MFA program, and she is currently studying towards a masters in Counselling Psychology, with a projected focus on wilderness and art related therapies. Cilla is an apprentice and mentor at an elementary school pottery studio, and at Thriving Roots Wilderness School, and she is excited that all of her passions dovetail so beautifully with her work as EPIC’s Nature Arts Mentor.
Adrianne Begg is fun-loving and immerses herself in learning about the world around her. It’s what drew her to ecological education, forest school and the magical Pacific Northwest! As an experienced facilitator, Adrianne is guided by the needs of the group and brings enthusiasm, wonder, excitement, encouragement and compassion to her teaching practice. Adrianne is learning how to play music, make up songs and stories, practice bird calls (like the raven and the eagle), to howl with the wolves, knit hats, play in the ocean and paint with watercolours in her nature journal.
She has a B.C. teaching certificate and taught forest mentorship in both public and independent schools. Adrianne is also working on her Forest School Practitioners certification and has taken many professional development courses in the fields of garden-based learning, land-based education and anti-racist education. Adrianne is a white settler originally from Treaty 6 territory and the homeland of the Cree and Métis Nations in Saskatoon, SK and she feels privileged to live and work on the traditional territory of the Songhees, Esquimalt and the W̱SÁNEĆ First Nations. Adrianne is very much looking forward to connecting with the EPIC community in encouraging play, tinkering and creativity as a Forest Mentor this year.
Parents and forest community members are invited to be involved onsite with EPIC. They can also facilitate workshops for learners and the EPIC community.