Board of Directors

The Eastern Ridge School is governed by a volunteer board of directors. The Program Director reports directly to the board.

The Eastern Ridge School is currently seeking candidates to join the school’s Board of Directors. Individuals with expertise in early childhood education and/or fundraising are particularly encouraged to apply, but applicants of all backgrounds are invited. To apply, please submit this application no later than July 3, 2020.

Sarah Gamble, Chair

Sarah joined the Eastern Ridge School community in 2015 as the Outdoor Specialist. She brought her experience from various environmental and farm based education programs to her work at Eastern Ridge, and enjoyed sharing her passion for being out in the woods and garden with the learners of all ages.

When she decided to pursue her Masters of Education in 2017 at Antioch University of New England, Sarah joined the Board in order to give back to the Eastern Ridge School and support its mission.

With her MEd in Elementary and Special Education with a focus in Integrated Curriculum, Sarah is now a kindergarten teacher for Fairfax County Public Schools. She brings her knowledge of education and the outdoors, as well as her personal relationship with the school
and staff, to her work on the Board. Sarah is honored to serve on the Board and work to strengthen the programs Eastern Ridge offers and its continued growth.

Sarah Menon, Secretary

Sarah brings a strong knowledge of nonprofit management and governance best practices to the Eastern Ridge School Board, having served in leadership roles in outdoor education and environmental nonprofits for many years. She founded a science- and nature-oriented summer camp in 2009 and served as its Director from 2010-2013. She previously served as a summer camp Program Director and Staff Liaison. Sarah was also a founder of a national nonprofit umbrella organization overseeing a nationwide family of summer camps; she served as the Board Chair of this nonprofit from 2011-2012 and facilitated the organization’s transition from an informal discussion forum to a professional board. Sarah has served on the boards of OpenAQ, a nonprofit that provides an open platform of research-grade international air quality data, and EcoAct Arlington, a local environmental conservation organization. She assisted the former organization in transitioning from a for-profit to a nonprofit corporation. Sarah also has volunteer experience as a Wilderness Search and Rescue Field Team Leader and as a certified Virginia Master Naturalist.

In addition, Sarah has 15 years of experience as a risk and policy analyst supporting stakeholders across the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security, Defense, and the Interior. She established a Strategic Cyber Intelligence Analysis capability for a major cyber security firm in 2012 and served as the team’s Manager until retiring from full-time work in 2016. She now works as an independent consultant on climate change mitigation and adaptation policy for governments around the world.

Sarah has watched her children grow socially and develop independence, resilience, and self-confidence under the guidance and support of their Eastern Ridge School teachers. She is dedicated to ensuring the long-term sustainability and growth of the Eastern Ridge School and to expanding the school’s ability to bring child-centered, natural learning experiences to as many children as possible.

Don Britton, Member-at-Large

Chrissy Foster, Member-at-Large

Chrissy brings twelve years of dedicated experience in educational research. She is a postdoctoral researcher with a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction (engineering education) and expertise areas in diversity and inclusion, design of culturally-responsive learning environments, and qualitative research. Her work focuses on broadening participation in engineering by transforming engineering learning and teaching spaces to be inclusive of diverse identities, cultures, and worldviews. To advance engineering education research, Chrissy has conducted qualitative research studies exploring the lives of Native American women working in engineering and technology and has also contributed to several NSF-funded research projects. Most recently, Chrissy has worked to develop a culturally-responsive engineering curriculum that is currently being implemented in Navajo Nation middle schools. Focused on community engagement, Chrissy has also developed and led several educational workshops, events, and camps focused on supporting students in their pathways to STEM careers. Through her work, Chrissy has developed partnerships with Native communities and has worked to help advance Native communities through a variety of contexts and roles, including serving on the board of the Phoenix American Indian Science and Engineering Society and teaching engineering camps on the Navajo Nation.
Having lived in Arizona for most of her life, Chrissy moved to Northern Virginia with her husband and daughter in 2016. Shortly thereafter, Chrissy found the Eastern Ridge School (ERS) during a school search for her daughter. She and her family quickly learned that ERS is a truly special school where children are engaged thoughtfully and constructively with their natural world. As a board member, Chrissy is excited to contribute her expertise and knowledge as an ERS-parent to support the school’s continued growth.

Jennie Melchior, Member-at-Large

Jennie brings 15 years of experience supporting Federal agencies in improving their delivery of mission support functions, especially within the financial management arena. She has planned and managed transitions to new business systems and operations, provided organizational analysis and design services; optimized processes, policies, and procedures; and established strategies for mitigating financial and operating risks.

Jennie grew up as a U.S. Army dependent in Germany, where she attended German schools from kindergarten through high school graduation (Gymnasium). While Heidelberg, Germany will always feel like “home,” graduating from the University of Virginia and moving to the Washington Metro area have allowed her to embrace her Virginian roots.

A member of the Eastern Ridge Community since 2014, Jennie is passionate about helping the school continue to thrive. She is thankful her two girls have benefited from the school’s loving staff, expansive outdoor space, and warm community. As a Director at Large, Jennie draws on her professional acumen and first-hand ERS-parent experience to shape the School’s vision and make decisions to benefit current and future Eastern Ridge families.

Amy Webster, Member-at-Large