Silvia Anderson, MA


Silvia has 19 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 8 years of 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 and UC Davis Extension.


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, and fishes). 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

Johnathon Anderson, PhD


Johnathon is Silvia's husband and scientific adviser. He is an Assistant Professor at the University of California Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, with 10 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. 

Luke Anderson


Luke loves traveling, water play and caring for the family pets (our two dogs, two cats, ducks, fish, 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. 

Gabriela Gomez-Baranda


Gabriela has 10 years’ 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.


Gabriela has been married for 20 years and has 3 children, Isabel, Santiago, and Ximena, PLUS their three dogs and five cats! Her interest in working with children began while volunteering in her son’s preschool classroom. She enrolled for two Early Childhood classes, and since then has dedicated her time to obtain the education and knowledge necessary to become a wonderful teacher and advocate for young children. Gabriela has found herself deeply involved in working to ensure children have access to the best education possible, regardless of their cultural background, language or physical limitations – all within a nurturing focus to the overall growth of children. As her father Pablo used to say, “one should never stop learning, and never stop growing as an individual and member of a community”.


Gabriela is very excited to be a part of Nature’s Lab community and excited to support children’s growth and help develop rich opportunities for learning and exploration for all.  

Lacey Schrader

Teacher Assistant 

Teacher Lacey has several years of experience working with children in various settings prior to our school. She is the favorite aunt and was a nanny, and after school programs aid. All her life she has been interested in children's healthy development and always goes out of her way to ensure every child's needs are met. Teacher Lacey gives the best hugs and loves to read with the kids. She has always known working with children is what she is meant to do, and we see that as she is always eager to learn and implement her new knowledge.

Teacher Lacey and her partner Sean love their small three-legged dog Sylo and she became a chicken lover as soon as she joined our school. Lacey is currently enrolled at the local community college and is pursuing her associate’s in early childhood education.

 "I'm so thankful to become a part of Nature’s Lab community and love seeing my students learn and grow while doing what makes them happy every day". 

Sharon Lesso


© 2018 by Nature's Lab School. Lic # 343622680