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
Naturalist Coordinator: Alex Frierson
Administrative Assistant: Shay Kaye
Nurse: Bette Blumenstein
Kitchen staff: Juan, Jandy, Emma & Jim
Bus and luggage drivers: Phoebe, Aaron, Karen, Ralph & Linda 
Health Clerk: Brianna
Naturalists: Josh, Allison, Korena, Sarah, Amy, Gabe
Maintenance/Custodial: Patrick, Ralph, Davey & 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.
Alex Frierson, Naturalist Coordinator
Alex was born in California but was raised in Wisconsin and Kansas. Growing up, Alex enjoyed camping, fishing and hunting with his family, especially in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. As a member of the Scouts, Alex participated in monthly campouts, high adventure outings and attained the rank of Eagle Scout. After studying Geography at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, Alex ventured west. He spent time in Utah working for a wilderness adventure therapy program and especially enjoyed working with students on the Autism spectrum. Alex transferred his experiences into environmental education, eventually becoming a Naturalist Intern at Foothill Horizons. After his internship, Alex worked towards gaining more skills and experience at other outdoor schools in California. He is immensely excited to be back at Foothill Horizons and to step into a new role within the program! In his free time Alex enjoys rock climbing, camping, fishing, playing guitar and relaxing near water.
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.