Staff & Leadership

Leadership 

The Education Operating Committee provides governance and leadership to Project Learning Tree. The committee’s responsibilities include:

  • Recommending goals and policies for PLT and other educational programs
  • Developing annual operating plans and budgets for the Sustainable Forestry Initiative’s (SFI) Board of Directors’ approval
  • Assisting with fundraising activities
  • Participating in PLT’s programs and activities
  • Initiating strategic planning for PLT and other SFI education programs

 

PLT National Staff

Dr. Reagan Flowers
Chief Education Officer
[email protected]

Reagan leads Project Learning Tree (PLT), SFI’s educational initiative, where she and her team advance environmental education, forest literacy, and green career pathways, using trees and forests as windows on the world. She also works to strengthen the adoption and reach of PLT resources to support a lifetime of learning based on PLT’s connection to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programming. In addition, Reagan is responsible for PLT’s strong network of partners—developing relationships with school districts, government agencies, a diverse array of communities, youth leaders, and the private sector. Reagan is an educator and social entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience leading STEM programming. She holds a PhD in Education Leadership/Systems from the Union Institute & University and an MA in Counseling from Prairie View A&M University. Reagan previously served as President and CEO of C-STEM, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting teachers and students.

 

 

Christine Leduc
VP, Communications and Government Relations
[email protected]

Christine leads SFI’s binational communications team, which also includes Project Learning Tree and Project Learning Tree Canada. She oversees strategic communications while also developing and implementing a range of government and public relations activities. Christine is a Registered Professional Forester with a decade of experience in forestry, policy, communications, public affairs, issues management, and more recently Indigenous relations. She is fluent in English and French and holds a Master of Forest Conservation from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto. Christine is also a Forests Ontario board member, and she was recognized as a Top 10 Under 40 by Canadian Forest Industries magazine. Outside work, Christine spends as much time as she can enjoying the forests of northern Ontario.

 

 

David Folkerson
VP, Sales and Business Development
[email protected]

David largely leads efforts to expand the reach and impact of PLT’s educational curriculum across both Canada and the U.S. He leverages previous leadership experience in communications to promote PLT programming and related resources and oversees a range of business development initiatives. Before his Sales and Business Development role, David served in various senior communications capacities at SFI, following a decade of experience in non-profit communications. David obtained an MBA in Marketing from the Université du Québec en Outaouais in 2021 while working full-time for SFI and raising two young boys. David is a certified project manager and is fluent in both French and English.

 

 

Ana Leirner
Senior Director, Professional Learning and Education Products
[email protected]

Ana designs and develops high-quality professional development materials and programming to prepare educators to integrate PLT environmental education materials into their teaching. Ana is focused on helping educators become comfortable teaching outdoors in urban, suburban, and rural environments. Ana creates engaging and hands-on online courses and supports the PLT network in delivering in-person professional development using best practices in educator professional development. Previously she worked as an instructional designer in various industries, designing online professional development courses for a diverse audience, including K-8 STEM teachers in Latin America. Ana holds an Ed.M. in Educational Media and Technology from Boston University, an MBA from Fundação Getulio Vargas in São Paulo, Brazil, and a B.A. in Psychology from Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo.

 

 

Megan Annis
Director, Sales and Marketing

[email protected]  

Megan leads SFI’s marketing strategy to bring Project Learning Tree (PLT) and PLT Canada environmental education, forest literacy, and career pathways products to market across the US and Canada. She creates and manages targeted campaigns to increase engagement, utilization, and sales of PLT resources. Megan also contributes compelling strategic communications content that broadly supports PLT’s environmental education goals and SFI’s mission to advance sustainability through forest-focused collaborations. Megan believes working with youth is the key to building a sustainable future. Her passion for youth-focused environmental action runs in her family. After noticing trash piling up in local parks, Megan and her young sons formed the Folsom Clean-Up Bugs to host monthly community clean‑ups.

 

 

Jennifer Byerly
Director, Communications 
[email protected]  

Jennifer supports both PLT and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative’s communications and marketing efforts, helping tell the story of PLT’s impact. As the former Digital Organizer for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership in Washington, DC, she managed campaigns with partner organizations to support shared missions and created digital content and online advertising to support natural resources advocacy. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Christopher Newport University.

 

 

Kate Nagle
Director, Education & PLT Network

[email protected]  

Kate Nagle Director, Education & PLT NetworkKate plays a key role in strategic and programmatic operations at Project Learning Tree® (PLT). She advises on and implements strategies to deepen the relationships between the PLT network and SFI-certified organizations and SFI Implementation Committees. Kate also works directly with the PLT network of state and international partners to strengthen the implementation of PLT programs. She takes the lead in integrating team members and identifying training and support needs to ensure efficient and timely development of resources and program delivery. Prior to joining SFI, Kate was Program Director at the Chemical Educational Foundation where she engaged a national network of volunteers to reform their educational programs to focus on equity, student experience, and impact. She spent the first eight years of her career as a classroom teacher and professional development leader, working with students with special needs and students from historically underserved communities. Kate holds a Master of Education in secondary chemistry from Boston College and a Bachelor of Arts in conservation chemistry from Sarah Lawrence College. 

 

 

Jerri Taylor
Director, Career Pathways and Diversity

[email protected]

Jerri Taylor

Jerri leverages successful tools and resources to build support programs for diverse young people as they navigate green careers. She leads the career pathways programming, the Green Mentor program, and the Green Jobs employer training efforts. Jerri will also support the Chief Sustainability and Diversity Officer in diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts across all SFI pillars. She is an experienced K-12 professional school counselor and has dedicated her professional life to connecting youth with resources and opportunities. Jerri holds a Masters of Education and Human Development, with a concentration in school counseling from George Washington University, and a Bachelors in Family and Consumer Sciences from the University of Maryland.

 

 

Rocco Saracina
Senior Manager, Strategic Partnerships
[email protected]

Photo portrait of Rocco Saracina

Rocco manages all things related to the Project Learning Tree network and also collaborates with PLT state programs to develop strategies and partnerships that build the network. Rocco previously served as SFI’s Manager of Conservation Partnerships; before joining SFI in 2013, he conducted fire ecology field studies as a U.S. Forest Service technician, and stream geomorphology and habitat assessments with an environmental consulting firm. He holds a Master of Natural Resource in sustainability from Virginia Tech and a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from California’s Humboldt State University. 

 

 

Clayton Whittle
Manager, Online Learning 
[email protected]

Clayton develops and updates online courses and green-job tools and resources for PLT and assists in the analysis, design, implementation, and evaluation of online and blended courses, including learner analysis, storyboards, video scripts, job aids, and assessments. Clayton has a strong interest and expertise in gamification and has 14 years of experience as a classroom educator and learning designer. He holds a Master’s degree in Communications from Texas A&M University and is a PhD candidate specializing in environmental education design at Penn State University.

 

 

Shuya Huang-Young
Senior Coordinator, Education Systems
[email protected]

Shuya supports green career pathways for diverse youth and helps form strong partnerships with forest and conservation sector employers. She enjoys hiking and spending time outdoors in her free time. Prior to joining PLT, Shuya worked as a biologist at a ecological consulting firm, a field researcher at a Chinese environmental NGO, and organized several events at the United Nations Conventions. Fluent in English and Mandarin, and practicing French, Shuya has a Master’s degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of Toronto. 

 

 

Meggan Balcaen
Senior Coordinator, Marketing & Communications
[email protected]

Meggan leverages SFI’s brand positioning across all communications channels and platforms and supports PLT’s communications and marketing efforts. She manages email communications, social media posts, researches and drafts blogs, creates performance reports, and helps with project management. Prior to joining SFI, Meggan worked at Nature Canada where she supported their annual photo contest and digital fundraising on social media. She has a degree in public relations from Algonquin College.

 

 

Kelvin Braun
Coordinator, Graphic Design & Media
[email protected]

Kelvin works on social media and reporting, graphic design and video, and Indigenous relations communications. He brings a sense of mission and passion for sustainability and the betterment of people to all of his work. Kelvin earned a Bachelor of Arts in communication and media studies from the University of Calgary. Prior to joining SFI, he was with Mosaic North America as an e-commerce advisor working on the Canada Digital Adoption Program through the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. This work helped Indigenous-led small-to-medium-sized businesses build a digital presence, including e commerce solutions and digital marketing campaigns. Kelvin enjoys travelling to the mountains on weekends to hike and take photos. During the warmer seasons he and his family camp and explore many of the national and provincial parks in Alberta and British Columbia. Kelvin is Cree, born in Winnipeg, with familial roots in Opaskwayak Cree Nation.

 

 

Maggie McBride
Coordinator, PLT Network
[email protected]

photo of maggie mcbride

Maggie supports PLT’s dynamic network of state and international partners, including over 80 state agencies, nonprofit organizations, universities, trade associations, and others. She provides project management leadership and works collaboratively with PLT State Programs on the promotion, delivery, and dissemination of PLT’s curriculum materials, professional development, and other initiatives to grow the scale and reach of PLT to advance environmental literacy, stewardship, and career pathways. Outside work, Maggie enjoys playing the piano, hiking, and kayaking. Maggie has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Northern Colorado, Certificates in Forestry, Natural Resources, and Wildlife, and recently finished her Master’s in Environmental Resource Policy at the George Washington University.

 

 

Jaclyn Stallard
Curriculum Advisor and Network Lead

[email protected]

Jackie oversees the next generation of PLT’s PreK-12 environmental education materials, as well as other instructional materials and resources. She also directs strategic alliances that advance curriculum implementation with other environmental education and sustainability resource providers at the national level. Jackie presents and exhibits PLT’s curriculum and SFI programs at education and conservation conferences across the United States. Three curricula Jackie developed have won Teachers’ Choice Awards, and she regularly serves as an Envirothon Judge for national competitions. Jackie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Allegheny College in Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in Ecological Teaching and Learning from Lesley University in Massachusetts.

 

 

PLT Internship Program

Learn more about opportunities to join PLT as an intern here