Education and Programs Coordinator
Favorite Animal: Raptors
Favorite Plant: Powderpuff
What I Like Most About Working at ONP:
The peace of the Preserve, and to see the wonder and joy on the faces of the families and students when they learn something new.
Rachael was born in Ft. Lauderdale but was raised in Elmira, a city in the Finger Lakes region of New York. She grew up in a family of nature enthusiasts, hiking, camping, boating, fishing, and horseback riding. Rachael even became a glider pilot at the age of 14 and one of her favorite things to do was to circle in a thermal with hawks!
Rachael has a degree in Zoology from State University of NY College at Oswego and has always known that she wanted to focus on education. She was a Biology teaching assistant when she first heard about Disney’s Animal Kingdom being built, and after graduating Rachael packed up and moved to Florida. She started as a performer in Entertainment at Walt Disney World, and then became an opening Cast Member of Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Animal Programs. After several years at Disney, Rachael decided to travel the world as a corporate flight attendant.
After starting a family Rachael became an early childhood educator and music director. Upon discovering ONP she immediately felt at home and is excited to get back to her roots! Rachael’s passion is to inspire children to love and appreciate nature, and to encourage the teachable moments that children will retain and build upon. Rachael loves working with children and strongly believes that this younger generation will need to be leaders in preserving, restoring, and conserving our world.
Rachael has three wonderful kids with her husband, Richard, and she is very involved as a Girl Scout assistant troop leader, coaches cheerleading and soccer, and even coaches her son’s robotics team!
Rachael develops curriculum and teaches our educational programs, as well as coordinates our programs, guest speakers, and workshops.