Leslie Reynolds, Executive Director. Leslie has over 25 years experience in educational administration, government affairs, media relations, environmental education programming. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego. She served as chief of staff to a California State legislator for many years, managing staff, constituent services, communications, and drafting legislation. She then served as Vice President of San Diego State University’s Office of University Relations and Development for almost two decades, where she managed community relations, legislative affairs, division budgets, grants, and contracts. She left the university to create a nonprofit organization offering habitat-based service learning and youth leadership programs; she is a founder and the Executive Director of Groundwork San Diego.
JoAnna Proctor, Education Coordinator. JoAnna graduated from University of California San Diego, and began her career teaching for the Juvenile Court & Community School System. She received her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential/CLAD and continued her teaching career as the Elementary & Special Needs Module Coordinator and teacher at a private K-8 elementary school. Accepted into the Educational Leadership Program, JoAnna then earned her Master’s Degree in Education and her Administrative Credential. She graduated with honors and is a member of two honor’s societies, Pi Lambda Theta and Phi Kappa Phi. She was recognized as Teacher of the Year in 2008. JoAnna’s passion is teaching environmental conservation and outdoor science education. She is committed to teaching STEM and Next Generation Science Standards in conjunction with Common Core Curriculum so that her students will be prepared for the future. She is also committed to teaching children the importance of environmental stewardship and the preservation of the planet.
Patrice Baker, Community Outreach Director. Patrice grew up in Southeastern San Diego, attended neighborhood schools and graduated from Lincoln High School. After 29 years of service with Pacific Bell, Patrice retired and started her own business. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business/Management, and her Master” Degree in Organizational Leadership. Patrice has been a long time community advocate, and has worked as Parent Instructor for The Center for Parent Involvement for Education, Mentor for SD City Schools CALWORKS program, Contract trainer for International Seminar Company, and Outreach Coordinator for Harmonious Solutions. Her community involvement includes: Program facilitator at Penn Elementary School, Conference presenter and facilitator, and member of the Jackie Robinson YMCA Board of Managers. Patrice is trained in mediation and conflict resolution. Her passion is to inspire and prepare young adults to discover their best selves in order to be productive & effective citizens. At Groundwork, Patrice is responsible for the recruitment of community members, resident change-makers, and developing partnerships for ongoing community projects. She has received the 2015 Blum Public Scholars Award.
Jacob Brownwood, Propagation Center and Farm Manager. After working for several years as a farmer, farm-based educator, and land steward in Washington, Jacob returned to San Diego to start a small, organic family farm. Jacob is the founder/director of the San Diego New Farmers Guild(SDNFG), a non-profit organization advocating for a robust community of young farmers and consumers in the San Diego Region. Through the SDNFG, Jacob hosts monthly workshops and events, facilitates market opportunities for local small farmers, and serves as the regional representative of the National Young Farmers Coalition. He holds a permaculture design certification from the Bullock’s Permaculture Homestead and has gone on to teach sustainable farm practices to diverse groups such as youth, the chronically homeless, and parolees. He was instrumental in establishing the farm program for the Community First! Village in Austin, TX in 2016 and the Orcas Community Participatory Agriculture(OCPA) community farm on Orcas Island, WA in 2014.