Lead Mentor: Megan Grieco is a teacher originally from New York State with a passion for sustainability, environmental and social justice, and teaching children how to listen to their minds and bodies. With seven years of teaching experience, Megan took this past year to dedicate time to international exploration. She spent time in Peru and Colombia with the purpose of learning about unfamiliar cultures and spending time on sustainable farms to discover how to bring these practices into the classroom. Megan moved to Topanga a year and a half ago. She holds a bachelor's degree in general education and master's degrees in Literacy and Special Education. Megan is passionate about making changes to education, which is what led her to PETALS.
Co-Mentor and Music: Sage Ryan experienced a range of schooling options and found that no traditional or alternative model fit for all children. He began his own independent education and ended up graduating from UC Berkeley with a degree in Performance Studies and Art when he was only 16 years old. Since then, he has been a substitute teacher at progressive schools such as Brightworks in SF, Muse in Calabasas, Manzanita in Topanga, and now PETALS.
Co-Mentor: Haille Trimboli is a former public school teacher who has fallen in love with holistic education. Haille was a public school student who didn't fit into the traditional mold by the end of her education. She graduated high school at age 16 and went on to take classes at the local community college in Sacramento, CA. She received her Bachelors of Science in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration in 2013 and went on to earn her Masters of Arts in Teaching in 2016. After earning her Masters she taught in Oregon public schools, various private schools, and international schools, and quickly got burnt out on rigid standards, grading, testing, and discipline. After reading more about holistic education, Haille made the switch into teaching and mentoring students through holistic education practices, which ultimately led her to the PETALS community.
Dual Language Mentor: Sandra Marroquín realizó sus estudios de Maestra de Educación Pre-Primaria en Centros de Estudios Winbridge en el país de Guatemala, trabajo como Docente Titular por 5 años con niños de 4 a 9 años disfrutando de cada una de las etapas implementando el Método Montessori y Didácticos para el aprendizaje del Inicio de Lectura.Sandra Marroquín studied Primary Education at Winbridge Study Centers in Guatemala. She worked for five years as a full time lead teacher with children ages 4 to 9 years old. She enjoys all stages of learning while implementing the Montessori Method and Early Reading techniques. She is our Spanish Immersion teacher at Petals and is so loved by our learners, especially our artists.
Founder: A teacher of over two decades, Jessica London Jacobs has spent the last 15 years consulting and advocating for students in public and private schools, homeschoolers, child actors, and athletes. Her professional consulting services have led to exceptional college admissions, improved grade point averages, drop-outs earning diplomas, and students' voices being heard. But, through all this experience, Jessica knows she wants something different for her young children. She believes PETALS will make for happy and successful youth.
Founder: With a background in marketing, entertainment, healthy eating, and green business, Janabai Owens is an experienced entrepreneur and active mother who was one of the founders of Petals. She has experience lobbying local government, raising funds for non-profits, and running successful small businesses. Living with her family in Northern California, Janabai still consults for Petals while working as the CEO of a forward thinking farm tech company.
Advisor: Former Dean of Education at Oglala Lakota College and tenured Associate Professor of Education at Northern Arizona University, Four Arrows is currently a professor with Fielding Graduate University. Author of numerous publications, he was selected by AERO as one of 27 "Visionaries in Education" for their text, Turning Points. His book, Teaching Truly: A Curriculum to Indigenize Mainstream Education, was selected by the Chicago Wisdom Project as one of the top 20 progressive education books. He continues to teach about Indigenous worldview on behalf of both Indigenous communities and for the sake of all people indigenous to Mother Earth.