We are excited to welcome Gina back to the staff at EEC after a year-long sabbatical! This will be Gina’s 2nd year as a teacher at the preschool. She began teaching in the Three’s class and will now be joining our Two’s class with Teacher Doug. Before joining our teaching team, her oldest daughter was a preschooler at EEC and is now in elementary school. Gina’s younger daughter will be starting at the preschool this year as well.
Gina grew up in Iowa with a family of musicians, teachers and farmers, which fostered a lifelong dedication to singing, dancing and the natural world. As the oldest of seven cousins, she became enamored with young children and was the natural play facilitator. This led to a fascination with the way little people learn and a desire to guide their growth, resulting in a long career as a nanny and instructor.
As an ecologist, Gina studied the mating behavior of red-winged blackbirds and the migration of monarch butterflies. She has provided science education for all ages at camps, nature centers, high schools, and universities. Most recently, at the ASU Global Institute of Sustainability, she provided curriculum support and professional development to students and teachers throughout the Phoenix Valley focused on local urban ecology. She also collaborated with her husband, Chad Johnson, in his public outreach efforts studying black widow spider behavior.
Gina is eager to understand how factors in a child’s social and physical environment affect their individual cognitive development. She loves to play with music and movement and encourages kids to explore. She sings with the Phoenix Symphony Chorus and enjoys all kinds of outdoor recreation.