Mandi Billinge, Executive Director/Founder
Mandi founded KIDS for the BAY and has directed program and organization development for the past twenty-five years. Mandi was originally a classroom teacher in an inner-city London school. She founded KIDS for the BAY to bring the same exciting, hands-on environmental science projects that she had taught in her own classroom into schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. Mandi’s first-hand knowledge of the type of support that teachers and their students need to develop their literacy in environmental science in the classroom and in the outdoors has ensured that KftB effectively meets the needs of teachers and students and that our programs are very successful. Mandi has a B.S. Honors Degree in Biology from Hull University, England, specializing in freshwater and estuarine ecology, a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Leeds University, England and the Development Director’s Certificate from the University of San Francisco. Mandi is married to James and has three children; Sukai, Sarah and Erika. All three girls love the KIDS for the BAY Summer Camp and have enjoyed outdoor adventures in the camp every summer for the past 13 years!
Click here to read Executive Director Mandi Billinge’s special message on our 25th Anniversary…
Gabriela Antonova, Development and Communications Manager
Gaby is excited to be part of the KIDS for the BAY team and to support a socially-conscious organization in fostering creativity and a connection with the environment for children and the local community. Gaby previously worked for three years as the Director of the San Luis Obispo Chapter of Sprout Up, a college-based environmental education organization. She also worked as an environmental educator for High Trails Outdoor Science Schools and she has a B.S. Honors Degree in Biology from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, with a minor in Spanish. Gaby speaks fluent English, Spanish and Bulgarian.
Marianne Keith, Program Staff Team Lead and Program Manager
Marianne is passionate about environmental education and exploration. She is excited to lead the KIDS for the BAY program staff team and to manage and teach our Watershed Action Program. Marianne previously worked for NatureBridge at the Golden Gate Campus. She was born and raised in New Hampshire and received her B.S. Degree in Environmental Anthropology from Keene State College. After graduating, Marianne spent a year in France working with children and studying the French language. She returned to the U.S. to work for “e” inc., an environmental education center in Boston. Marianne has also lived and worked in Arizona as a Camp Educator for the Arboretum of Flagstaff and as a Crew Leader for American Conservation Experience.
Valerie Lowe, Program Manager
Valerie has always enjoyed working with children, especially teaching them about the environment. She is passionate about keeping our planet healthy and believes that this begins with awareness and education. Valerie is excited to be the KIDS for the BAY Summer Camp Manager and to manage and teach our Programs for Schools. Born and raised in San Diego, Valerie has a love for the ocean and all of the creatures in it. She received her B.S. Degree in Conservation Resource Studies with an Oceanography focus from University of California, Berkeley. As a student, Valerie interned with KIDS for the BAY in our Programs for Schools and spent two summers working as a Camp Leader in our Summer Camp. Valerie has also worked with the Surfrider Foundation, International Marine Mammal Project, and Lawrence Hall of Science.
Cynthia DeLeon, Program Manager
Cynthia loves teaching children and encouraging them to think critically about science and the environment. She has taught environmental education in school gardens and in woodland habitats. She has also worked for a water district to complete scientific watershed surveys. Cynthia has a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies from University of California, Riverside and is currently completing her Master’s Degree Thesis in Regenerative Studies at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Cynthia is bilingual in Spanish and English.
Long Term Consultants to KIDS for the BAY
Shefali Shah is an educator of multicultural and environmental education with over sixteen years of experience. Shefali holds a Spanish Bilingual Teaching Credential and a Masters Degree in Education with a focus on Critical Environmental and Global Literacy. Her research, practice, educational curriculum and teacher training focus on best practices for equitable educational opportunities for multicultural youth. For five years, Shefali was an Instructor in the Teacher Credential and Masters Degree Programs at New College of California and for nine years she served as Program Director and later Education Director for KIDS for the BAY. Shefali’s work promotes environmental education through action and cultural awareness. Shefali’s consulting work for KIDS for the BAY includes: culturally responsive classroom management, diversity and environmental justice workshops, teaching observations and modeling best practices in teaching environmental education.
Since 2005, Kari Gim has owned Slimgim Designs, LLC, a full-service graphic design business based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her projects include logo design, branding strategies, design for print and web, and website development. Kari graduated from California State Hayward University with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications and started her career in publishing at San Francisco-based Mother Jones magazine and Jossey-Bass Publishers. Kari then became the marketing design manager for Avalon Travel Publishers in 2000. For five years she developed print and web designs for the marketing department and several authors: a redesign of the Moon Travel Handbooks line, and a redesign of the Rick Steves travel guidebooks. Kari lives in the East Bay Area with her husband, son, and feisty cat Wasabi.