The Collective

Jonna Vance

For 13 years Jonna served as the Administrative Director at a small progressive school. This experience gave her a variety of hands on training opportunities in everything from substitute teacher, parent education, faculty training, program planning, and creating dynamic classroom environments. With an eye to developing her teaching skills she began teaching full time in 2016. During that time, Jonna created an outdoor education program, a hands on tinkering space for construction and art projects, and continued to work with parents and children to better understand how their behavior and communication affected their relationships. She is very grateful for her time at Roseville Community School and the mentoring it provided. 

Jonna is now excited to take her experience and build a new type of learning environment for both children and adults. Jonna attended the Forestry Institute for teachers in the beautiful Stanislaus National Forest where she became inspired and certified to use Project Learning Tree and Project Wet curriculum.  Jonna attended the conference in 2019, Thriving in the Outdoors: Social and Emotional Learning in Nature put on by California AEOE.  This further reinforced her dedication and belief in the important role outdoor education plays in a child's development. 

Most recently, Jonna became a Certified California Naturalist through the University of California. 

In addition to her love of outdoor education, Jonna has become a fulltime practitioner of the Barton Tutoring Program, a reading and spelling program that utilizes the Orton-Gillingham Method. With her remarkable ability to connect with students and her non-judgemental way of instructing, Jonna has helped numerous students overcome their frustrating reading and spelling difficulties.  Read more here about Jonna and Barton.  

Her curiosities are always evolving. Birds remain an ongoing love, but bees are providing her new ways to "treasure" hunt while out in nature. 

Tai French

Tai spent 2013-2018 in the development and execution of a full time gardening program for 6-12 year olds at Roseville Community School. What started as a once a week volunteer position, soon become a passion and an opportunity to hone her natural teaching abilities. She found that the garden was unique in its ability to engage children in authentic and purposeful learning. She was lucky enough to receive hands on training in the Progressive Education model at Roseville Community School and received training for garden education through classes at Soil Born and Life Lab in Santa Cruz. During her time at Roseville Community School, she also acted as Program Coordinator overseeing program planning, parent education, and faculty coordination in the progressive education model. 

Using both her organizational skills and love of nature literacy, Tai teamed up with Jonna Vance to create The Curiosity Collective. Serving primarily homeschoolers, Tai believes curiosity and the outdoors are the quickest way to accessing intrinsic motivation and authentic learning. 

In 2019,  The Collective both presented at and attended the Play Conference at Roseville Community School. Tai was able to soak up inspiration from Play-Based proponents like Dan Hodgins, Micheal Lehman, and Sally Swiatek.  Since then she has continued to be inspired by attending other lectures and conferences such as  Thriving in the Outdoors: Social and Emotional Learning in Nature put on by California AEOE and David Sobel's, Placed-Based Education Childhood and Nature. 

She loves spending hours in her garden where she finds inspiration for new workshops, making and eating delicious food, and hanging out with her family and friends. Her newest curiosites are photography and nature journaling.

Kelsey Hall

For the past ten years, Kelsey has worked in various progressive and outdoor education models, doing what she loves: singing, exploring, creating, and learning with young children. While pursuing her degree in Early Childhood Development, Kelsey has worked in play-based schools, Montessori schools, and Waldorf schools, but has returned to her roots and first love– outdoor education.

Kelsey was raised in a progressive and play-based education system; her loves for play, music, nature, and exploration run deep, beginning in her elementary years at Roseville Community School. Her first job at 15 years old was a summer camp counseling job at the well-loved Camp Quien Sabe in Monterey, where she spent weeks hiking the golden hills of California and nights spent under starry skies; ten years later, and you can still find Kelsey out in the woods and mountains most weekends, swimming in rivers, foraging in the woods, and checking out bugs under rocks.

Carrying her deep-seated love for all these things, Kelsey is so excited to be returning to the Curiosity Collective with more experience under her belt as she finishes up her Child Development degree and moves forward in her own education.