Who is Chesapeake Experience?
Chesapeake Experience is a local, non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to providing environmental education on the Chesapeake Bay for students, teachers, special groups and the general public. Programs are experiential in nature and focus primarily on getting people on the Bay in kayaks. Chesapeake Experience is based in York County, VA, but serves the entire Hampton Roads region.
Jill Bieri, Director of Chesapeake Experience, has over 20 years of experience on the Bay, holds a master's degree in marine science and has worked as both a scientific researcher and an environmental educator. She has developed numerous hands-on programs for children and adults locally, regionally and nationally. Jill believes that providing opportunities for people to personally connect with the bay is one of the most important ways to make a reversal in the bay's decline.
Lee Schuster, Teacher Program Coordinator, has an undergraduate degree in recreation and outdoor education and a masters in middle childhood education. She has taught in museums and public schools for 20 years. She currently supervises student teaches in secondary science for the College of William and Mary. Lee believes that the only way people can understand their natural environment is to experience it first hand. She enjoys sharing nature with others, watching birds, biking and exploring the last frontier-Alaska.
Adrienne Richardson, Educator, Adrienne has spent most of her life living and playing in the Chesapeake Bay's watershed. After graduating from Old Dominion in 1999 with a BA in Science, she began teaching. Presently Adrienne lives in York County and teaches Earth Science and Marine Science at Grafton High School. Summer is by far her favorite season and she spends the school year day dreaming about kayak camp where the "classroom" is the Bay and the "students" are Chesapeake Experience campers!
Cherise La Guardia, Educator, received a bachelor of science in biology fall 2007 and her masters in secondary science education in 2009, both from Virginia Tech. GO HOKIES! During the school year, she is a 6th grade science teacher at Page Middle School in Gloucester. Cherise has been with Chesapeake Experience since 2007. She believes the best way to teach children is to include as many hands on activities as possible, and the dirtier you get, the better!
Krista Sweet, educator, hails from Mathews County, Virginia, a small town right on the Chesapeake Bay. A 2009 graduate from Christopher Newport University, she received a BS in biology that focused on ecology and wetlands ecology. She is still at CNU, though working on her MS degree in environmental science. She transitioned from studying wetlands to studying oysters for her thesis project. Krista is happy to be studying the land or critters in the water, but she truly enjoys spending time kayaking with Chesapeake Experience!
Kerri DiFiore, Educator, Kerri is happy to get back to the "Bay" after spending 25 years in New York City where she acquired her Master of Science in Education through the New York City Teaching Fellows program. A native of Hampton Roads, Kerri has returned to continue her teaching career with the York County School Division. After her own "chesapeake experience" at teacher camp, Kerri rediscovered the beauty and peace of the bay (no more "tender-footed city girl"). After volunteering during the summer of 2009, Kerri is pleased to join the staff in 2010.
Hayley Hamadyk, Educator, Hayley is in her final year at the University of Virginia and is majoring in sociology. She has been with Chesapeake Experience for four years. She loves anything having to do with being outdoors!
Laura Sanders, Educator. Laura graduated from JMU in December of 2001 with an undergraduate degree in Social Work. Her course work at JMU allowed her to volunteer with an outdoor wilderness program in Norfolk. She volunteered with middle to high school kids for eight years with hiking, biking and camping trips from Surry County to the C and O Canal trail ride along the Potomac River in Maryland/West Virginia. She is currently a special education kindergarten teacher with Newport News Public Schools and holds a Masters in Early Childhood Special Education from ODU.
If you are interested in learning more about Chesapeake Experience, please contact us.