BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Christa Campbell, fondly known in the county as the “Donut Queen”, is the proud owner of Rainbow Orchards along with “Farmer Tom” Heflin and her family. Christa is one of the founders of Ag in the Classroom in EDC and her farm served as the original Fields of Learning pilot site and continues to partner with Camino School to this day. And serving lunch to the 300+ volunteers at the Annual Farm Day in Placerville is just one of many ways Christa supports the community and youth of our county. She also currently serves on the boards of MORE, El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce, Marshall Foundation, EDC Farm Trails, Apple Hill Growers Association, and Camino Community Action Committee.
Deborah brings a unique perspective to the board, having careers in both the Ag business and as an educator. While in an Ag business, she volunteered regularly to present to classrooms. When she became a teacher, she organized annual Ag in the Classroom events that brought over 200 Ag business leaders, producers and students to our schools. Having careers in both agriculture marketing and education, she is passionate about bringing the two worlds together. Joining Ag in the Classroom is another opportunity for Deborah to continue serving our students and connecting them with the farmers who provide for us.
Todd brings 15 years of experience in outdoor science education along with a placed-based teaching perspective of the Next Generation Science Standards to the board. His Geosciences degree (hydrology/geology) provided a foundation to build from as he pursued a career in natural resources. In 2005, he pivoted into teaching, and hasn’t looked back since. He brings experience in science education, a strong local network of educators, a passion for photography and videography and a deep knowledge of El Dorado county. As a long time El Dorado County resident, serving on the board of Ag in the Classroom is a great opportunity to share his experience in education and natural resources to bolster experiential education opportunities for students in the region.
Gabrielle (Gigi) Marchini has served as an educator in El Dorado County for the past 33 years and, along with her husband Ed, is the owner of the Marchini Ranch in the Gold Hill area of the county. Through Gigi’s work at the El Dorado County Office of Education, she is a passionate advocate for students across the county having access to every possible opportunity to develop an awareness of the culture and natural resources around them. Seeing her two sons grow up on the family ranch and acquire an appreciation for agriculture and the importance of caring for their environment has fueled this passion even further. Farm Day is the highlight of the month of May each year for Gigi – one of the numerous Ag in the Classroom events she supports each year.
Austin has a passion for connecting people with place as a foundation for building a community in which folks care about each other and their surroundings. That is core to his work as an educator at Sly Park. Austin brings a diverse background in environmental sciences and education, along with strong ties and experience in local forestry and natural resources management and a passion for graphic design and videography to his work with AITC. His teaching philosophy is grounded in place-based and experiential learning and he was recognized as a SCOE Teacher of the Year. As an Ag in the Classroom board member, Austin relishes the opportunity to apply his experience and passions towards supporting AITC's core mission and bolstering the organization and the communities it serves.
Matt Smith is always looking for opportunities to better the education of the students in the Camino Union School District through hands-on learning. When Ag in the Classroom was ready to pilot its Fields of Learning Program, he was quick to jump on board, and it’s now a much anticipated activity for 1st graders at the school. Following the theme of testing new ways to engage kids in hands-on learning, he helped champion creating the “Hole in the Fence” school garden, and most recently, is piloting the much anticipated new Next Generation Science Standards-based curriculum lessons and supporting kit materials. Matt serves as an advocate for Ag in the Classroom with the fellow educators in the county and through his engagement with the community at our annual 20 Mile Taste Fundraiser.
Merv deHaas (Farmer & Rancher)
Claire Frost (Agricultural Education Consultant)
Karen Hodges (Development and Accounting Consultant)
Avis Jolly (Past Executive Director)
Joyce Joy (Vision Mortgage)
Gabrielle Marchini (El Dorado County Office of Education)
Donna Sauber (Retired Teacher, Vineyards Owner)
Charlie Wiglesworth (Retired EDC Fair & Community Advocate)
Persons/Organizations interested in serving on our Board of Directors should contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org