Andrée Collier Zaleska, Founder and Director, is the mother of two teen boys, a climate activist, and an urban gardener. She has fifteen years of community organizing experience. She spent her 20s teaching and creating camps for youth and adults.
Andrée is the co-founder and owner of JP Green House, an energy positive urban homestead, and the nonprofit which created JP Green School. JP Green House is a demonstration home for low-carbon living, a center for the study of sustainability, and a local hub for the climate movement.
Kannan Thiruvengadam, Co-Founder and Director, is a permaculture-certified technologist. He believes we can use our intelligence and modern technology carefully and consciously to work with nature in order to heal our ecosystems and nourish ourselves.
In the US, he works on eco-friendly food growth practices in the urban setting and on education. He runs Eastie Farm, a non-profit organization whose mission is community resiliency, and co-directs JP Green School. He hosts What’s up Eastie? on Zumix Radio, a show about hot topics of East Boston, a dynamic and diverse Boston neighborhood on the water and therefore on the frontline of climate change. He is also a Climate Ready Boston leader.
Kannan spends part of his year in India, where he supports and guides alternate school systems and promotes the participation of urban youth in agriculture.
Lauren Ockene, Lead Teacher, is a veteran public school teacher. She began her teaching career as an outdoor educator on the coast of Maine. She founded the shared schoolyard garden at the Edward Devotion K-8 School in Brookline, where she has taught third through fifth grades for sixteen years. She also trained twelve other teachers there to use the garden with their classes, teaching subjects and skills ranging from science to ESL skills, in a context of gardening and outdoor learning.
Lauren is an environmental activist and an avid gardener; she founded and ran the volunteer group JP Trees for four years, and she has recently become certified in permaculture design.