Sharon Byington organized the first Nature Discovery classes during the summer of 1987,
and has been the program director and lead instructor since then.
Sharon is now retired after 28 years teaching
with APS. She taught grades 1–5 as well as remedial reading classes. She has
a MA in elementary education with an emphasis in biology and is a certified reading specialist.
Her nature education includes classes with Audubon (in Torrey Creek, Wyoming), UNM, Project Wild,
the Bosque Education program, and others.
Julie McVay started teaching at the RGNC in 1988. She has a BA and an MA from UNM, and started
teaching with APS in 1970. She taught grades K-4. Julie retired in 2010, and completed the RGNC
Volunteer Training (for the second time!) in 2011.
She has taken Project Wild, Bosque Education, and other classes.
She was awarded Environmental Teacher of the Year in 1994.
Therese McGrath recently retired from APS after 30 years, working with children in grades K-6.
Helping young children become strategic readers was her calling while employed for APS.
She holds a BS and MA in Education from the University of New Mexico with an emphasis in Science and Reading.
Therese comes to the Rio Grande Nature Center after completing her Volunteer Training in the winter of 2010.
Included in her nature education endeavors are Project Wild, Bosque Education, and others.
She enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, nature walks, golfing, and indoor activities like yoga
Cindy Chapman was an elementary classroom teacher and instructional coach for over 35 years.
Specializing in mathematics education, she served on the Board of Directors of the National
Council for Teachers of Mathematics and won the 1995 Presidential Award for Excellence in
Mathematics Teaching. She has had Bosque Education and Project Wild training. Since
completing RGNC volunteer training in 2010, Cindy has enjoyed learning about and sharing
nature with people of all ages.
Anne has been a volunteer at the RGNC since 1989, leading student groups. With public school teaching
experience in both elementary and mid-school, Anne has both classroom and volunteer skills to bring to the
Shawna has been teaching for 26 years. She has a BA in Social Work from Colorado State University and a
Master's in Education from Eastern New Mexico University. In addition, she has an endorsement in
Shawna has taught Grades K-6 in APS, Moriarty Schools, Sunset Mesa, and the
Department of Defense Schools in Germany. While in Germany, she was the Outdoor Education Leader and has
since pursued the coursework to become highly qualified in Science. Shawna is currently enjoying working
at MA Binford Elementary School.
Jessica has been teaching at the RGNC since 2001. She has worked for the Albuquerque Public Schools for
10 years teaching grades K-4. She has an MA in Elementary Education from the University of
Jessica is currently on leave, teaching in Cambodia.