Julie is the Coordinator of Innovation and Farm Lab Development for Encinitas Union School District. She oversees the development and expansion of on-site facilities, district farm-to-school efforts, the regenerative organic farm, community partnerships, and the DREAMS Campus educational programming (Design, Research, Engineering, Art, Math, and Science). She is inspired to provide real-world, project and place-based learning opportunities at Farm Lab that deepen student understanding of health and wellness, sustainability, and environmental stewardship.
She began her career in EUSD in 2000, and has been a classroom teacher, intervention coordinator, International Baccalaureate Coordinator, and Summer Academy Principal. She has presented internationally on behalf of EUSD, and holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership
Nina Cooper is the Farm Lab Operations Assistant. Although she is new to the district, she has lived in Cardiff with her family for 15 years. Nina's professional background includes roles in student services and, more recently, communications. She is excited to be at the Farm Lab to lend her support to both the education and farm teams.
Nina Nelson is the ToSA at Farm Lab. She is a wife, mother of four, and a grandmother. She loves surfing, cooking, hiking, being in nature, spending time with family, and teaching. Sometime around 2017, Nina was looking for a way to bring agriculture and environmental stewardship into her classroom in Florida. In scouring the internet for ideas, she came across a magical place in Encinitas, California called the DREAMS Campus. Nina loved everything that she saw, including the Farm Lab initiatives, farm-to-school program, and real-world hands-on sustainability education. Nina and her team teacher even printed a picture of the DREAMS Campus sign and hung it up in one of the Florida classrooms. She thought that it would be a dream to work at the DREAMS Campus. All of these years later it has come to pass! As a teacher at the Farm Lab, Nina’s goals are to create experiences for the students of Encinitas that will inspire them to love learning and live fruitful lives, as well as to be a support and encouragement to their teachers, families, and the community at large.
Autumn Alguire is extremely excited to be one of the Site Enrichment Teachers at Farm Lab! From being a student at Ocean Knoll Elementary to working as a noon duty there and in the Aspire program throughout the district, getting to continue her journey in this district and community is an absolute joy for her. She is passionate about working with children in any capacity and thinks it is incredible to be a part of one of the most unique, sustainability-minded, and community-oriented experiences she has ever seen.
Her philosophy in teaching revolves around whole child learning and meeting children where they are at by providing them with opportunities to engage in project-based experiential learning in which students utilize their own agency. In her off-time she is an avid home chef and loves to make and share seasonal plant-based meals. She also loves watching new movies and reading new books when she is indoors. When she is outdoors, she loves camping in the woods and hiking local trails.
She looks forward to meeting all the wonderful students and teachers in the district!
Sophie Ray is excited to join the EUSD Farm Lab as a teacher this year!
Her journey in education has been diverse and enriching. For the past two years, she has been dedicated to teaching Health and Wellness in the district. Prior to this role, she completed her undergraduate studies and earned her teaching credential at CSUSM, with a focus on child development.
Her teaching philosophy is grounded in the belief that education isn't just about imparting knowledge; it's also about nurturing a lifelong love for learning. She is committed to creating a dynamic and inclusive classroom environment where students are encouraged to ask questions, think critically, and explore their curiosity. She is enthusiastic about the opportunity to merge her passion for nurturing young minds with her love for the outdoors in this unique setting.
She is looking forward to embarking on this exciting new chapter and the adventures the 2023-2024 school year will bring!
Emily Miethke is thrilled to be the Lead Farmer at Farm Lab! Emily grew up in Vista, CA and attended Mira Costa Community College where she received her AA. She transferred to UC Santa Cruz where she earned her BA in environmental studies, sustainable agriculture, and agroecology. She brings over 10 years of experience working in a variety of agricultural and outdoor settings. Her previous experience includes: managing 4 farm sites in Vista, teaching environmental stewardship at Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation, and working local farmers markets.
She is passionate about educating others on local food systems in San Diego, and growing food for EUSD. She looks forward to engaging with the community and passing on her curiosity about plants and agriculture! In her free time she loves to roller skate, cook, and go to the beach.
Hannah received her BA in International Development & Spanish and her Masters in Sustainable Food Systems. She has worked extensively in the food systems space through non-profits and business startups focusing on connecting local producers and consumers, managing farmers markets, supporting youth education and school gardens, and more. She has transitioned to farming in the last few years and is excited to continue learning and growing with a creative team like the one here at the Farm Lab!
Hannah is truly passionate about all things food and farming and loves bringing everyone into the conversation around how we can strengthen our local food systems. When not at the farm, Hannah loves to cook, read, hike and spend time with friends & family.
Mark Wassef is extremely thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the Farm Lab team. He has many years of experience as a custodian. So far he loves the farm and it reminds him of Camp Cuyamaca where he has worked in the past.
Mark prides himself on leaving a site better than he found it. His goal is to keep his work sites organized from top to bottom for maximum efficiency on the job.