Foothill Horizons - Outdoor Education Foothill Horizons - Outdoor Education



The staff of Foothill Horizons is a dynamic group of people from throughout California and beyond. We pride ourselves on creating a safe and positive outdoor experience.


Current Staff

Principal: Jess Hewitt
Assistant Director: Diann Rastetter
Administrative Assistant: Shay Kaye
Nurse: Bette Blumenstein
Student Dorm Assistant: Gabriel
Kitchen staff: Rich, Juan, Jandy & Jim
Bus and luggage drivers: Phoebe, Linda, Ralph, Hal, Craig, Glenn & Joel
Health Clerk: Brianna
Naturalists: Josh, Allison, Korena, Sarah, Amy, Gabe
Naturalist interns: Emma, Christa, Morgan, Alex & Dylan
Maintenance/Custodial: Mike, Billy, Ralph & Leonard


Meet the Permanent Staff

  Jess Hewitt, Principal
In fall, 2014, Jess stepped up as principal after ten years of working at Foothill Horizons. She started as a naturalist intern in 2003, and worked as a permanent naturalist from 2004-2014. She also spent three summers using her imagination and creativity while working as a naturalist for Foothill Horizons Summer Camp. Jess continued to develop her teaching skills by earning a multiple subject teaching credential with CSU Fresno. This valuable perspective and study allowed her to start co-leading the internship program in 2010. Soon after she went back to school to complete an administrative credential in Educational Leadership. These experiences prepared her for her new position as Director of Foothill Horizons.  She looks forward to leading Foothill Horizons Outdoor School into a new era.
Diann, Assistant Director
Diann grew up cherishing the time she spent in her big backyard in northeastern Ohio, which led her to go seek a degree in Environmental Education, Communication and Interpretation. She moved to California in 1997. She spent 17 years working at and managing a residential Outdoor Science School program in the San Bernardino Mountains, then spent the last two years as the Naturalist Intern Coordinator at Sierra Outdoor School in Sonora. She is now the Assistant Director here at Foothill Horizons and is thrilled to be part of a passionate, experienced staff in such a beautiful location! Some things she likes to do: snowboard! make gourd art and drums, visit family and her wonderful nieces, mountain bike, hike, learn, laugh, and she also enjoys finding ways to make people smile. This year, she looks forward to making a difference in the lives of the students, counselors and teachers that visit Foothill Horizons and will strive to provide each of them with a positive memorable experience here in this very special place.
gabe Gabe, Naturalist
Gabe was born and raised in the cozy confines of upstate New York.  His childhood was chock-full of the outdoors, from early camping trips in the backyard with Dad to skiing on towering 800-foot slopes at the local hill.  Since studying at the University of Virginia, Gabe has worked, lived and traveled all over the world.  Aside from community organizing in San Diego and international development in India, he has facilitated experiential and environmental education programs in El Salvador, Israel, Colorado, the Sierra Foothills, and the San Francisco Bay Area.  Gabe is an avid skier and hiker, and has come a long way since bringing just a bag of crunchberries as his only food on his first backpacking trip.  Gabe is uber-excited to be back at Foothill Horizons, learning with and from the next generation of conservation stewards and outdoor enthusiasts.  Also, he loves carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.
Korena Korena, Naturalist
Korena studied Biology at the University of California at Santa Cruz.  Two highlights were a quarter studying Tropical Biology in Costa Rica and a quarter studying the Natural History of California while backpacking through its predominant mountain ranges.  Her love of experiential education brought her to Foothill Horizons for a naturalist internship in 2001.  She became a permanent naturalist at Foothill Horizons in 2004.  She is excited to share the mysteries of nature with students during their time at Outdoor Education. Her favorite topics to teach are night hike and dancing!
Sarah Sarah, Naturalist
Sarah developed a love for nature while growing up in the
foothill community of Paradise, California. As a youngster, Sarah enjoyed a variety of outdoor activities with her family and friends, including camping at Lake Almanor and hiking at Lassen Volcanic National Park. After finishing college, she took some time off to explore parts of Central America, Asia and Europe. While Sarah always knew that she wanted to teach in some capacity, it wasn’t until she returned from her travels that she decided to pursue a career in outdoor education. Sarah has been working at Foothill since 2008. In her free time Sarah enjoys playing basketball, reading, hiking, backpacking, traveling and dancing.
Brianna Brianna, Health Clerk
Brianna loves exploring and playing in natural environments. She has had the opportunity to learn from a variety of collaborative, outdoor jobs that have allowed her to work on salmon habitat in the backwoods of Maine, teach primitive living skills in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, and research threatened garter snakes in the central valley of California. After focusing on biology and experiential education in college, Brianna was thrilled to join the dedicated Foothill Horizons staff as a naturalist intern in 2012. Working as a naturalist and health clerk, Brianna is most excited to make outdoor education available to all students. When she is not working with 6th graders, Brianna enjoys back-country hiking, wildlife research, books on tape, and dancing.


Meet the Naturalist-Interns

Emma earned her degree in Environmental Studies with a minor in Education from University of California, Santa Barbara.  Some of Emma’s previous work experiences includes being a summer camp educator, a tutor, a mentor and a restoration volunteer.  Emma’s hobbies include:  hiking, backpacking, reading, yoga, and exploring. She is excited to be at Foothill Horizons because she is passionate about outdoor education, and she thinks it should be a part of every student’s life.
Alex earned his degree in Geography from University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point.   Some of Alex’s previous work experiences includes being an environmental educator and field guide and working with children with special needs.  Alex is an Eagle Scout and he played rugby in college.  His hobbies include: Rock climbing, hiking, fishing, snow sports, and singing.  Alex is excited to provide students with hands-on learning experience at Foothill Horizons.
Morgan recently graduated from California Polytechnic State University with her degree in Biological Science.  She has worked as a classroom assistant, research assistant, full time nanny and volunteer instructor teaching elementary students. Morgan loves the outdoors, observing nature and playing the piano. She is excited to provide kids with the opportunity to connect with nature and to learn to be more mindful during their week of outdoor education.
Dylan just earned his degree in Environmental Studies from University of California, Santa Cruz and holds an A.S. in Social and Behavioral Sciences from Sierra College.  Some of Dylan’s previous experience includes working as a GIS Research Assistant, an Educator and Outreach Associate and a Volunteer Environmental Scientist.  He has interned for a radio station, for an organization studying bryology (mosses) and for an organization studying Conservation Law & Policy. His hobbies include:  camping, backpacking, cooking and eating great food.  He also enjoys playing the guitar, bass and harmonica.  Dylan is excited to provide students with outdoor learning experiences at Foothill Horizons.
Christa earned her degree in Environmental Studies and Sustainability from Northern Michigan University in Marquette, MI -with a minor in History. Some of Christa’s previous work experience includes tutoring, teaching, and guiding children in various settings.  She also has field trip leading experience and has co-authored lesson plans. Christa’s hobbies include:  swimming, hiking, camping and backpacking.  She is excited to hone her teaching skills while working with students at Foothill Horizons.