Jennifer Jovanovic spent seven years as the Director of Science Beyond the Boundaries, a network in which science centers and museums share best practices in hands-on education with their colleagues around the world. Jennifer was the original and only network director, growing it from 12 museums when it was founded to 249 museums reaching over 81 million visitors. Most recently she created and directed the Early Learners Collaborative, funded by a federal grant to help museums develop programs that support preschoolers’ readiness for school. The Saint Louis Science Center was just one of Jennifer’s many clients. She has extensive background in hands-on science programming for underserved audiences. She specializes in assisting nonprofits in creating education programs, including related written materials, grant proposals and publications. She is the former Executive Director of the Children’s Museum at La Habra, where, under her leadership, they won the national Association of Children’s Museums’ Promising Practice Award. She holds a B.A. from Harvard University.
Director of Education
Jill Coons comes to GrowingGreat with a background in sustainable gardens, youth nutrition, and volunteer and business coordination. A graduate of The University of Arizona in Agriculture with an emphasis in Landscape Architecture, Jill has pursued many aspects of her educational background. Since 2003, she has been the GrowingGreat garden coordinator for Pacific Elementary, developing and implementing hands on curriculum.
Jill expanded her passion for garden education to include teaching GrowingGreat nutrition lessons. During her time as Program Director for GrowingGreat, Jill has developed a strong understanding of coordinating long-term relationships with administrators, teachers, and volunteers. Outside of GrowingGreat, Jill currently serves on the Board of Trustees for The Warren Neely Foundation, a philanthropic organization that grants money to deserving youth, clubs, and communities throughout California. Jill lives in Manhattan Beach where she loves spending her free time with her husband, David, and her three sons.
Nutrition and Garden Education Specialist
Kristina Halverson is a registered dietitian and public health professional with a background in community health and nutrition education. She holds a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Michigan and previously taught 4th and 5th graders in New Orleans, Louisiana as a Teach For America corps member. As a teacher, she developed an interest in the intersection of student health with academic performance and has pursued opportunities to use her teaching background to promote health and nutrition within community settings.
As a graduate student, Kristina interned for the Los Angeles Library Foundation in their “Health Matters” campaign to help develop a nutrition education program for library patrons. Before joining GrowingGreat, she worked for the Huntington Beach Union High School district as a Nutrition Specialist under the Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Branch. In this role, she helped promote nutrition education, edible learning gardens, and other healthier policy, system, & environmental changes across four school districts in Orange County. Kristina is originally from East Patchogue, New York and currently lives in Santa Monica.
Mónica S Moncada
Mónica S Moncada is an educator with experience in indoor and outdoor museums and community organizing. She holds a BA in Anthropology from UC Berkeley where she first got a taste of working with local community while serving as a steering committee member of TRENZA UC Berkeley, a Chicana/Latina community service and academic club.
Seeking an opportunity to actively work with her community at home, Mónica accepted a position as the Education Assistant at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes. For three years, she held various roles in the Education Department—from scheduling all student and group tours to facilitating indoor and outdoor guided visits. One of the programs she assisted with was the “Edible Teaching Garden and Culinary Arts Program,” where students used their five senses to explore the garden, learned about foods and herbs that can be grown in Los Angeles, and prepared Mexican snacks with healthy alternatives. Mónica was born and raised in the urban agrarian community of Sylmar, CA and currently lives there.
Sally Alder has a B.S. degree in Operations Management from Cal Poly, Pomona. She worked in commercial banking for Union Bank and Comerica. While raising her two children she was active as a volunteer with several organizations in our community including the Girl Scouts, her children’s schools, MBEF, Odyssey of the Mind, and is still active with NCL, Inc. Manhattan-Hermosa.
Sally lives in Manhattan Beach with her husband Jeff, their two children Bradley and Rachel. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading, skiing and taking long walks with her dog Sasha.