Meet the Staff


Quail (Shannon Cueva)
Quail is Shady Creek’s Program Director. She has been with the Outdoor School since she was hired as an Intern Naturalist in 2006. Originally from Oroville, California, Shannon first fell in love with environmental education when she attended Woodleaf as a sixth grader. Quail attended California State University, Chico where she earned a degree in Recreation Administration. She appreciates having a job where she can work with an outstanding staff, and meet amazing children from all over Northern California. Shannon loves spending time with her husband, Yeti, and her family. She also enjoys playing bass with her family’s rock-n-roll band, The Little Twins.




Yeti (Chris Little)
Christopher Storm Little, better known as “Yeti”, is the Coordinator of the Shady Creek Outdoor School program. He started his career at Woodleaf Outdoor School eleven years ago and was part of the original team that helped move the program to its current location. Chris was very lucky to have met his future wife Shannon Cueva or “Quail” during his first year at Woodleaf, and takes great joy managing the Shady Creek program with her. One of his favorite highlights was in 2010 when he, along with his twin brother Jason Little, were honored by being named the Environmental Educators of the Year for the state of California.






Ibis (Ian Gledhill)
Ibis is a credentialed science teacher who has worked in environmental education for over seventeen seasons and in the classroom for two years. Ibis also has his bachelor of science in natural resources interpretation. His work includes time spent as a park ranger in both Yellowstone and Redwood National and State Parks as well as the director of Pal Camp in Freshwater, California. Ibis is excited to be working at Shady Creek Outdoor School, the same program that he visited as a sixth grade student, high school cabin leader, and finally as a student naturalist. Ibis is a huge bird nerd and he spends his free time on adventures trying to find as many bird species as possible. As Lead Naturalist, Ibis is working his dream job and living happily in the mountains with his wife Chickadee.



Madrone (Kelly Casey)
Madrone is a California native, born and raised in the Salinas Valley, and this is her fourth school year at Shady Creek. Originally setting out to be a classroom teacher, she fell in love with outdoor education after spending a season at an outdoor education camp in the state of Washington. During the summer of 2016, Madrone pioneered Shady Creek’s summer camp program with her co-director Echo. When students and campers ask her about her career, she tells them that if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. When she’s not with kids exploring nature or singing ‘round the campfire, Madrone is probably knitting/crocheting, writing, eating a veggie burger, practicing Bikram yoga, or riding on a train. Call her Mo for short.




Rhododendron (Michael Shanahan)
Rhododendron is enjoying his fourth exciting year in outdoor education. Spending his first two years at San Joaquin Outdoor Education in the coastal redwoods, Rhododendron looked northeast to begin a new chapter of encouraging student inquiry-based teaching here in the mountains.

He considers exploring the creek, planting in the garden, hiking up hills to see great views, and sharing these experiences with students to be the most rewarding parts of Shady Creek. A graduate of Humboldt State (Go Jacks!), he received a B.S. in environmental policy and a B.A. in recreation administration.



Echo (Bethany Thomas)
Echo is at Shady Creek for her fourth year. She came from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Growing up in a city did not give her much time outside. While at Penn State, she participated in an Outdoor School program and saw how important it is for kids learn about the environment they live in. After a few years of being part of such an amazing program, she realized that she was on the path she wanted to continue on after graduating with a degree in Wildlife and Fishery Sciences. Her goal while being at Shady Creek is to help students find something they care about in nature so they can teach people about it and to show them that they can make a difference.






Mantas (Brinn Langdale)
Mantas’ love of the outdoors and nature started at a young age. Growing up in Sacramento, California, she was a tomboy always running around outside trying to keep up with her older brothers. This love became more deeply instilled by spending eight summers in the heart of the Rocky Mountains at an outdoor adventure camp, both as a camper and a camp counselor. This is also where her passion for teaching young kids and helping them connect to the natural world began. Mantas attended Sonoma State University and received a double B.A. in Environmental Studies and Planning, and Cultural Geography. When she’s not out exploring nature, you can find her on her yoga mat, reading a good book, or playing Ultimate Frisbee or Disc Golf.



Mancub (Sean LaTour)
Mancub was born and raised in Sacramento, California. mancubThough his focus in life has always been a love for family and close friends, he found solitude in the nearby Sierra Nevada mountain range as an adolescent. Although Mancub found peace and harmony through snowboarding at a young age, he decided it was time for a new journey as he moved to San Luis Obispo to find his spirit in the ocean. Eight years later, after an incredible adventure, wealth of mindfulness, and growth of knowledge, Mancub earned his degree in Education with a minor in Math and Student Disabilities from California State University, Monterey Bay. His experiences taught him that there were two comforts in life, working with children and existing outside with nature. When Yeti and Quail brought him to Shady Creek, he was brought to tears of joy; he had finally found his way home.



Osprey (Jessica Goldman)
Osprey grew up in Apex, North Carolina, and majored in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina (Go Wolfpack!). Osprey enjoys hiking, reading, spending time with friends, and traveling.  Osprey is super excited to meet all the students attending Shady Creek this school year, and is looking forward to exploring all that Northern California has to offer!




Marc Bark (Marc La Fazia)
marc-barkMarc Bark or Bark Marc (it’s reversible!) is excited to be back on the Shady Creek Staff as an Intern Naturalist. He was born and raised in Yuba City, and attended Shady Creek a total of five times as a cabin leader before being hired as a Student Naturalist in 2014. Bark Marc’s passion for music grows with his passion for teaching. His favorite part of Shady Creek are the songs because they blend both of his passions into one.






Jake the Snake (Jacob Stamper)
Jake the Snake grew up in Yuba City. He is a Student Naturalist.









Great White (Josue Mendoza)
Great White was born in Mexico City and came to California at the age of eight. He first came to Shady Creek in fifth grade and fell in love with nature and Shady Creek. He had such an awesome time and learned a lot of new things as a kid while he was here at Shady Creek that he decided to come back as a Cabin Leader three times throughout his senior year of high school. After graduating from high school, he became a Student Naturalist. He likes to be in the forest, go on long hikes, play his electric guitar and is totally fascinated with ocean life! He loves to give and get high fives and fist bumps! So make sure you give him one when you get a chance.




Big Bird (Eric Altman)
Big Bird grew up in Chico. He is a Student Naturalist.









Greg the Goose (Greg Zunino)
Greg the Goose grew up in Yuba City. He is a Student Naturalist.








plutoPluto (Kjetil Hendricks)
Pluto was born and raised in North Highlands, California. His hobbies include star gazing and drama. His favorite foods are burgers, whether it be a beef burger or a black bean burger. In the future he hopes to be a teacher, an aerospace engineer, or both.







low-tideLow Tide (Olivia Hansel)
If you come to Shady Creek you may encounter a wild Low Tide.  Originally from Sutter, she has migrated to Shady Creek in pursuit of sharing her love of nature to fifth and sixth graders.  You can find the wild Low Tide at the Gaga Ball pit or roaming around the trails. She loves boomshakalakas, sweet dance moves, and a good cup of hot coco!  Make sure to give her a radical fist bump when she is spotted!






lizardLizard (Lizzy Landry)
This is Lizard! She grew up locally in Sheridan CA. She enjoys water activities such as swimming, boating, wake skating and wake surfing. She also loves hiking and basking in the sun. Her favorite color is green and she loves kittens. She hopes to one day get a job working with children.




nicky-mouseNicky Mouse (Nicollette Frias)
Nicky Mouse is a student naturalist at Shady Creek this school year. She was born in San Diego, and raised in the Bay Area. Her interests include: photography, painting, writing, and anything outdoors.







simbaSimba (Madison Smith)
This is Simba. Simba is from the Central Valley, coming from Lincoln, California. She enjoys playing soccer, hiking, and jamming on the ukulele. Her future plans include transferring to a four year to get her teaching credential! One cool thing about Simba is that she was a student, cabin leader, and now a naturalist here at Shady Creek.







Otter (Lauren Orman)
Otter grew up camping and hiking with her family, forming a love of nature from a young age. She has fond memories of both her weeks of outdoor education as a sixth grader and high school cabin leader. She studied Recreation and Park Management at Sacramento State and spent many summers in college working at summer camp. While a native Californian, Otter loves to travel and recently returned from teaching English in Thailand. She looks forward to exploring her new home around Shady Creek, meeting awesome students, and making new animal friends in the raptor center.




Sassafrass (Cami Bruggner)
Sassafras graduated with a BS in Communications Studies with an emphasis on conflict and negotiation from Arizona State University.  She has spent sixteen years teaching children in outdoor education. She was employed for thirteen years at a pesticide free working farm in Arizona where she taught students about agriculture and animal husbandry.  She also has been a naturalist for three years at various outdoor education centers in Southern California.  She is excited to be experiencing Nor Cal life and being part of the Shady Creek family.





Anemone (Emily Baxter)
Anemone loves puns and silly jokes, walks on the beach, dahlias, and, most importantly, is super excited to join the Shady Creek team this season as a Naturalist Intern. Growing up, her love for nature started with the tide pools at the beach and spending summers in the Sierras. Nowadays her summer is spent backpacking with kids at summer camp. She graduated from Humboldt State University with a degree in Environmental Education and Interpretation to hopefully inspire others to find a love for the natural world as well.




Dragon (Alvaro Jauregui)
Dragon grew up in Yuba City. He is a Student Naturalist

From the entire Shady Creek Staff a big “Boomshakalaka” we look forward to meeting you!