Director and Lead Educator
Denise Matthews is the director and lead educator for Worms and Wildflowers Nature School. Denise is passionate about helping children experience the wonder and awe of nature through hands-on, playful, experiences. Denise has taught environmental education for 17 years in both Oregon and New Mexico. She has her masters degree in science education, is a certified science and ESOL teacher, and taught at the Pajarito Environmental Education Center for 5 years as their play-based education specialist.
Denise is currently working on becoming a Forest and Nature School Practitioner through the Child and Nature Alliance of Canada. Denise enjoys tending to her garden and going on outdoor family adventures that may include camping, canoeing, backpacking, and skiing.
Topher Matthews (Mr. T), Denise Matthews's husband, quickly came to understand the importance of outdoor experiences for children after they had two children of their own. While Topher works as a nuclear engineer during the day, he finds time to support the nature school in many ways including building structures, gates, and furniture, fixing the many things that go wrong on a farm, tending to our beehives and assisting with website design.
Topher’s light-hearted sense of humor and positivity are a natural fit for working with children. Topher will be in and out of the classroom and serve as an occasional guest teacher. Topher is a Los Alamos native and spent his winters skiing at Pajarito mountain and canoeing on the Rio Grande, which he continues to enjoy with his family.
Jamie Radenbaugh has worked for over 20 years as an Environmental Educator and Wilderness Therapist. She brings her passion for nature to teaching, inspiring youth to explore and play their way through class. Jamie's enthusiastic and patient nature helps students discover the joy of outdoor exploration. Jamie prides herself in fostering an open environment for emerging naturalists to build confidence as they discover their mind-body connection to outdoor spaces.
Jamie holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Community Studies in Positive Youth Development from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is the former Training Director at Rocky Mountain Youth Corps in Taos, NM and the Director of Environmental Education for Manzano Day School/Fenton Ranch. Jamie is a Yoga Alliance RPYT and a Leave No Trace Master Educator. She has extensive training in Wilderness Medicine and Emergency Response. Jamie is the recipient of the 2017 New Mexico Outstanding Service to Environmental Education Award.
Growing up in a small village in Austria, Beatrice has always enjoyed spending time outdoors. As a child she would play in the backyard, garden, and creek next to the house, and regularly hike in the surrounding hills. Since then, hiking and exploring, rock climbing, gardening, reading, cooking and traveling with her family have become some of her favorite hobbies. Beatrice highly values those experiences, and is passionate about creating similar opportunities for children to enjoy, experience and learn about nature in a playful way.
Beatrice started out as an elementary school teacher in Austria and Switzerland, and has since worked in libraries in Vienna, Austria, as well as in Los Alamos and White Rock, New Mexico. She holds a teaching degree and a Masters degree in Library Science from the Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany.
Sheena earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Science from the University of Maine and then began her journey of cross country travels and career exploration. Through her work at a fisheries laboratory, aquarium and Montessori school she discovered her love of education. She is especially passionate about guiding students to help them follow their interests, which has included leading cooking and baking classes, backpacking with students and being able to share her love of nature. Sheena spends her free time cooking, hiking and exploring New Mexico with her family.