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Meet us

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Sarah Stone, PhD
Executive Director

Sarah, the founder and Executive Director of Wonderbloom, has a PhD in early childhood development and has spent over 20 years teaching and supervising early childhood programs including Parents As Teachers and Early Head Start. In addition, Sarah has trained in nature-based education approaches. She has incorporated her extensive knowledge of early childhood development with principles of nature-based learning to create the underlying philosophy and structure of Wonderbloom.

Sarah has two little ones, ages 11 years and 7 years. She loves to take them on adventures both in Utah and abroad.  Sarah also loves to spend extra time volunteering in the community; you'll find her at Sundance Film Festival each Winter.

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Lesley Gulledge
Outreach Specialist

Lesley was born and raised in Salt Lake City and grew up hiking, biking, snowboarding and camping along the Wasatch Front. She deeply loves nature, animals, and is passionate about important environmental issues such as sustainability and conservation. She double majored in Environmental Studies and Behavioral Science and Health at the University of Utah. Lesley has two children, a girl and a boy. She has worked and volunteered with infants, toddlers and elementary-aged children for 10 years in classroom settings, after school programs and tutoring. Yoga and horseback riding are her favorite hobbies. She also loves to read, write, knit, and cross-stitch.

Lesley joined the Wonderbloom Team in April 2024

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María Jesús Castañeda Paz
Early Childhood Educator

Maria Jesus, better know as "Chus" is currently in school studying to become an early childhood educator. She has baby sat kids for over 10 years on and off. Chus is from a little town called Ushuaia in Argentina, which is the southern most city in the world! She moved to Utah in 2021 to be an au pair. She is a professional cook and a pastry chef. In her spare time, Chus likes going to the gym, reading books and hanging out with her friends. She loves traveling, seeing new places, and meeting new people. Chus joined the Wonderbloom Team in April 2024. 

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Midena Narvaez Ventura

Classroom Assistant

Midena is originally from Maracaibo, Venezuela. She moved to Utah over a year ago with her  wonderful family: her husband & two beautiful daughters. Back in Venezuela, Midena was a Psychologist with 15 years of experience working in special education. In her free time, she like to spend time with her family. Since Midena  was a teenager, she has enjoyed working with children, because she is able to easily connect with them.  Midena can adapt easily to new situations and considers herself to be a  resilient person. She is able to navigate difficult situations and loves leaning from those situations. Midena is excited to start this new experience and be part of the Wonderbloom family. She is excited to learn & apply her knowledge and experience to this new adventure. Midena joined the Wonderbloom Team in March 2024. 

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Lianna Lopez, MEd
Director

Lianna is originally from Northern California. Lianna moved to Utah in 2015, & earned a master’s degree in Education with a focus on Montessori Early Education from Westminster College. Lianna has over 17 years of experience working in the classroom with young children and families. One of Lianna's biggest passions is being a bird nerd! Lianna loves birds so much that she currently serves on the Great Salt Lake Audubon Board of Directors & is their Education Chair. Lianna also enjoys cooking, swimming, playing pinball, crocheting, hiking, golfing, backpacking, bowling, camping, x-country skiing & spending time with her family. Lianna joined the Wonderbloom Team in December 2021

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Mariah Leick

Early Childhood Educator

Mariah grew up in the beautiful Southwest desert and moved to Utah after graduating from Arizona State University in 2018. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Global Studies and Environmental Sustainability. Her previous experiences include providing gardening education to refugee community members, teaching toddlers, and working as a nanny. Mariah enjoys exploring the foothills with her dog, experimenting in her garden and kitchen, and learning new languages.

Mariah joined the Wonderbloom Team in May 2021.

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Genevieve Smith 

Early Childhood Educator 

Genevieve is a native Utahn and has recently graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in Family Studies. She had previously worked as an intern at Wonderbloom during the Fall of 2023. Genevieve loved the people and program so much that she was eager and grateful to come back again as a full timer! Genevieve has always enjoyed babysitting, working with summer camps/programs, and overall spending time with kids (especially her little cousins and nephew). Her other interests include playing tennis, making art, going on walks/doing anything outdoors, and enjoying time with her family and friends.

Genevieve joined the Wonderbloom Team in May 2024. 

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Lilian Mutoni

Classroom Assistant 

Lillian is from the vibrant city of Bujumbura in

Burundi. She has recently relocated to Utah, accompanied by my amazing mother, & is 

seeking new opportunities and experiences.

While living in Uganda, her passion for nurturing young minds led her to work at a nursery school. Lilian's  love for childcare extended beyond the classroom as she frequently babysat for neighbors & friends, She finds immense joy and

fulfillment when working with young children. Lilian's interests include movies, finding stories that resonate & inspire, music, she is an avid cook constantly experimenting with new recipes and flavors, & she cherishes the simple pleasure of going for walks.Lilian is  excited about the opportunity to join the team at Wonderbloom. She looks forward to bringing her skills, enthusiasm, compassionate spirit, as well as growing professionally. Lilian joined the Wonderbloom Team in May 2024.  

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Lizzy Bradford
Assistant Director

Lizzie grew up in Salt Lake City. She has a Bachelor's Degree from Utah State University in Family Life Studies. Lizzy has over 9 years of experience working with infants all the way up through school aged children. She is excited about the philosophy of Wonderbloom and to embrace nature based learning fully. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, restoring old items, hiking, and spending time in the sunshine. 

Lizzy joined the Wonderbloom Team in June 2023. 

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Johannes Suppan

Early Childhood Educator

Johannes grew up in Vermont, where he spent his younger years competing as a sprint triathlete. In 2013, he qualified for Worlds in Auckland New Zealand & represented the USA Sprint Triathlon Team. He graduated from the University of Vermont with a Bachelors of Science, majoring in Environmental Studies with a focus in Environmental Design & Outdoor Education. Johannes experience includes being an early childhood educator for the past four years, snowboard instructor & a camp counselor. He had the opportunity to work at Shelburne Farms in Vermont, which further instilled a strong passion for outdoor education

Johannes has lived in Utah for 7 years now with his partner & dog Magnolia. In his free time he enjoys hiking, swimming, camping, birding, gardening, using a variety of art mediums, and paddle boarding, snowboarding, snowshoeing . cooking meals with vegetables grown from his garden. Johannes joined the Wonderbloom Team in June 2024. 

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Sophie Nay 

Classroom Assistant

Sophie has lived in Utah her whole life. She has subbed for daycares and after school programs in Utah for the past two years. Working in childcare has been a lifelong dream of Sophie's. She hopes to further her education in the field, providing foundational work for children and growing support for nature-based education. Sophie is deeply passionate about the environment and animals, which led her to spend time volunteering and advocating for animal rights and environmental protections specifically throughout Utah. Sophie loves going on trips to Southern Utah, crocheting, cooking and trying out new coffee spots. She is so excited to be a part of the Wonderbloom community. Sophie joined the Wonderbloom Team in February 2024. 

Jude Vatsend
Classroom Assistant 

Jude has lived in Utah for most of his life, but holds a special place in his heart for the time he's spent exploring the nature of New England & California. He has previous experience working with children through opportunities at summer camps, local babysitting, a swim school, & an outreach leadership program for LGBTQ+ youth. Jude is looking forward to studying Early Childhood &  Special Education in the near future! Beyond dreaming of being an educator, Jude also hopes to become a wonderful baker, beekeeper, and hobbyist painter one day.

Jude joined the Wonderbloom Team in May 2024

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