OUR TEAM

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Silvia Anderson, MA

Founder/Director

Silvia has 22 years of hands-on child development experience at various levels of the field, ranging from professor to program manager. She received her bachelor's degree in psychology and a Master's degree in child development.

 

A few highlights in Silvia's professional career include:

  • Over 14 years teaching infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children.   

  • Manager of Sacramento County's  Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS).

  • Coach/assessor/evaluator of early learning programs across California, mentor to teachers, administrators, and owners of early learning programs.

  • Adjunct professor at Sac City College, an Instructor at California State University, Sacramento (CSUS), and UC Davis Extension.

  • Founder and director of Nature's Lab School, an all-outdoor early learning program.

 

Personal Background
Silvia is an avid outdoor lover. You can find her spending time with her husband and son while gardening, hiking in the Sierras, and lovingly playing with our pets (2 dogs, 2 cats, chickens, ducks,  rabbits, guinea pigs, fishes, and more, hahaha). Raised in Colombia, she loves to bring communities from various backgrounds together and help others learn about the benefits of outdoor play, the magic of science,  technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM). Silvia loves being a wife and mama. She is a wonderful resource for child development and activities to ensure all of Nature's Lab families will flourish. 

 

A few of Silvia's certifications include: 

  • Certified Infant/Toddler/Pre-K CLASS coach and assessor

  • Certified "My Teaching Partner" Coach

  • Certified MMCI Trainer for Teachers

  • Certified Environmental Rating Scales Observer (ITERS-ECERS-FCCERS)- Anchor level

  • Trainer for ASQ 3 & ASE-SE 2

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Johnathon Anderson, PhD

Adviser

Johnathon is Silvia's husband and scientific adviser. He is an Assistant Professor at the University of California Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, with 12 years of extensive biomedical research expertise. His research group focuses on developing stem cell-based therapies for neurological disorders and inflammation-associated diseases.

Johnathon is also a co-founder of a startup focused on developing novel stem cell-based drugs. He has a passion for teaching science and feels grateful to call northern California home, with all of its natural beauty. Silvia and Luke are his world and he enthusiastically helped design and build Nature's Lab School. 

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Luke Anderson

Inspiration

Luke loves traveling, water play, and caring for the family pets (our two dogs, two cats, ducks, fish, bunnies, and our ever-growing flock of chickens, hahaha ) Luke is bilingual in Spanish and English and loves listening to other languages and sharing his love for the outdoors, books, and music with other children. 

He has personally tested each area at Nature's Lab and help make the environment engaging, and challenging enough for all ages. 

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Gabriela Gomez-Baranda

PreK- TK Lead Teacher

Gabriela has 12+ years of experience in Child Development on various levels: student teacher’s mentor, parent volunteer, student-teacher, and instructional assistant.  Earned an associate degree in Early Childhood Education from American River College, a Bachelor’s in Child Development, and a Minor Degree in Deaf Studies from Sacramento State University.

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Sharon Lesso

Toddler, Early PreK Lead Teacher

Teacher Sharon earned a Bachelor’s degree in Child Development from Sacramento State University and is now working towards her Master's Degree in Child Development.

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Nathalia Gonzalez
Facilities Coordinator

.... Info coming soon

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