PERENNIALS: WE KEEP COMING BACK EVERY YEAR!

Kathy Capron
(HR & Operations)
KATHY CAPRON BIO

(she/her)

Why do you choose to work at Common Threads? I love bringing the earth nourishment to our kids at school. Giving nourishment to kids through teaching about food and cooking is a life skill that they can utilize far beyond school. I also love being a part of an amazing community of people who invest in the future of our lands and our children.

Favorite vegetable: Zucchini

One fun fact about me: I have a twin brother.

 
Emily Hie Photo
Emily Hie
(Education Program Manager)
EMILY HIE BIO

(she/them)

Why do you choose to work at Common Threads? After working with Common Threads as a classroom teacher for seven years, I saw the impact that seed to table education had for students from all walks of life. Gardening and cooking lessons help kids to see that food is more than just nutrition—it’s also culture, science, and medicine. Furthermore, food is community—it’s the easiest way I know to connect with people in our past, present, and future! I love raising my own child in Whatcom County, and my goal is that all children here will feel empowered to grow and eat delicious food.

Favorite vegetable: Garlic. I double it in every recipe!

One fun fact about me: I also taught martial arts for six years!

Laura Plaut
(Executive Director)
LAURA PLAUT BIO

(she/her)

Why do you choose to work at Common Threads? How we interact with food (growing, preparing, sharing, etc.) has the potential to be our greatest source of nourishment and connection or our greatest source of illness and isolation. I choose to work at Common Threads because I prefer nourishment and connection over illness and isolation!

I sometimes joke that Common Threads was born of my mid-life crisis: how did I, a “well-educated” adult, manage to live so long understanding so little about our food system?!

Common Threads is also my prayer to my own son and to all the other children who – through no fault of their own – are seduced by the colorful sugary options that so many marketing dollars put in front of them every day. May all of our children have access to the information and experiences that make healthy food choices joyful, easy and accessible.

Favorite vegetable: Salad turnip

One fun fact about me: I’m getting back into rock climbing after a long break

Sarah Wheatley, Garden Manager
Sarah Wheatley
(Garden Program Manager)
SARAH WHEATLEY BIO

Why do you choose to work at Common Threads? Food has been the center of community, family and friendship in my life since the very beginning. My mom proudly taught me family recipes and my best friend and I started a cookie company in fourth grade. We all thrive when we feel we belong, and I want to share that! I grew up in Bellingham, went to college in Santa Cruz, California, and have worked in El Salvador, Mexico, and India as well as several small towns in Washington and Oregon. In each of these places, I had the honor of sharing stories over meals and making friends in gardens, kitchens, forests and fields. I think food is a beautiful way to share our cultures with friends, neighbors and strangers. I worked in ecological science for a long time too, and I love gardening because we get to see ecological relationships up close and be part of them: plants, soil, critters and us. Other things I love include mountains, rivers, oceans, birds, playing music, building and fixing things, bikes, dogs, languages, bugs, and the kids who grace my life with their curiosity and goofiness.

Favorite vegetable:Varies seasonally. Snap peas, Sungold cherry tomatoes, Delicata squash, and shallots.

One fun fact about me: I built a tiny house!

Madison Spencer bio photo Common Threads Farm
Cam McMaster
(Community Engagement)
Cam McMaster Bio

(he/him)

ANNUALS: AmeriCorps Service Members join us each year as our boots on the ground

Lyndon Cartwright stands in front of the Common Threads logo.
Lyndon Cartwright, AmeriCorps Food Educator
(Kulshan & Whatcom)
LYNDON BIO

What state did you most recently live in? I am from Colorado but I have also lived in Singapore and London.

Why are you choosing to serve as an AmeriCorps member at Common Threads? I am choosing to serve at Common Threads because of my passion for gardening and growing food and to pass that on to young minds.

Favorite vegetable: Squash. 

One fun fact about me: I used to grow salad 200 feet underground in a bomb shelter. 

Katie Chugg stands in front of the Common Threads logo.
Katie Chugg, AmeriCorps Food Educator
(Acme & Kendall)                               
kATIE BIO

(she/her/hers)

What state did you most recently live in? Washington

Why are you choosing to serve as an AmeriCorps member at Common Threads? Common Threads allows me to pursue my passion for combating inequality through high quality education in sustainability and gardening.  

Favorite vegetable: Brussel Sprouts

One fun fact about me: I forage for mushrooms!

Becky Gutierrez stands in front of the Common Threads logo.
Becky Gutierrez, AmeriCorps Food Educator  
(Skyline)
BECKY BIO

(she/her/hers)

What state did you most recently live in? Washington

Why are you choosing to serve as an AmeriCorps member at Common Threads? Food is my passion. I love sharing food with others. I’ve been a vegetarian for 15 years strong and love sharing my kitchen dishes. My cooking style is mixed and I love to explore flavors and recipes from different cultures. I spent most of my life in Fresno California. I was lucky to have access to so much delicious produce. I wish for all people to have access to fresh healthy foods. I love growing herbs for kitchen use and medicinal use and have a small home garden

Favorite vegetable: That’s a hard one. I have a favorite season- summer and fall vegetables are my fave.

One fun fact about me: I love Halloween all year long!

Corinne Hill-James, Americorps Food Educator
(Sterling & Columbia)
Corinne BIO

(she/her/hers)

What state did you most recently live in? Vermont

Why are you choosing to serve as a Response Corps member at Common Threads? I believe that food serves as the foundation of healthy and happy lives. I am excited about sharing my passion for gardens so that more people can take part in the beauty, wonder, and fun that they offer, just as much as I am excited about learning from others about what growing and eating food means to them!

Favorite vegetable: Ketchup

One fun fact about me: Geraniums are my favorite flower.

Sonya Hoffman stands in front of the Common Threads logo.
Sonya Hoffman, AmeriCorps Food Educator
(Harmony & Northern Heights)
SONYA BIO

(she/her/hers)

What state did you most recently live in? I grew up in BHam, but just moved back from BC in November 2021!

Why are you choosing to serve as an AmeriCorps member at Common Threads? I often joke that food is my love language, feeding people is how I show love and eating food cooked for me is how I receive it. I also think it is a way of showing myself love, the act of taking time to grow food and cook for myself is not only physically nourishing but mentally as well. I think creating a healthy relationship with food and where it comes from is incredibly important and am excited to help foster a good relationship with food for the children within our community!  

Favorite vegetable: Carrots, but green beans fresh off the vine are a close second!

One fun fact about me: This year I freeclimbed Mt. Whitney!

Sidney Perkinson stands in front of the Common Threads logo.
Sidney Perkinson, AmeriCorps Food Educator
(Carl Cozier & Roosevelt)
SIDNEY BIO

(she/her)

What state did you most recently live in? North Carolina

Why are you choosing to serve as an AmeriCorps member at Common Threads? I majored in Environmental Education with the hopes of connecting kids to the natural world and good food through hands-on education and Common Threads is doing just that. I was drawn to Common Threads specifically because of their mission of connecting kids to food and their values of serving communities in need, nourishing the people and world around them, and to always striving to learn and do more. I am excited to serve as an AmeriCorps member; educating students about growing, cooking, and eating good food, learning from the students about their connections to food, and interacting with the local community through food education.

Favorite vegetable: Cucumber

One fun fact about me: I can ride a unicycle

Melissa Rijkers stands in front of the Common Threads logo.
Melissa Rijkers, AmeriCorps Food Educator
(Birchwood)
MELISSA BIO

(She/hers) 

What state did you most recently live in? Washington

Why are you choosing to serve as an AmeriCorps/Response Corps member at Common Threads? I have always been passionate about growing my own food and experimenting with recipes, and I am beyond excited to share that with my community. I believe everyone should have access to healthy food and experience the wonder of getting their hands in the dirt and growing something of their own!

Favorite vegetable: Potatoes!

One fun fact about me: I love baking and hope to one day open a bakery of my own.

Allie Vandewege stands in front of the Common Threads logo.
Allie Vandewege, AmeriCorps Food Educator
(Cordata)
ALLIE BIO

(she/her/hers)

What state did you most recently live in? Washington

Why are you choosing to serve as an AmeriCorps member at Common Threads? My favorite place to be is outside with kids teaching them about nature, dirt, bugs, flowers and all other groovy things! I’m currently finishing up my degree at WWU in environmental education, environmental justice, and Salish Sea studies. I’m passionate about the power of environmental education and the ability of food to create community nourishment. I can’t wait to combine all of these interests into my time at Common Threads!

Favorite vegetable: Spinach/Heirloom Tomatoes

One fun fact about me: I love being at the beach, especially when I’m tidepooling, swimming, or surfing.

Mary Wilcox stands in front of the Common Threads logo.
Mary Wilcox, AmeriCorps Food Educator
(Geneva & Silver Beach)
Mary Bio

(she/her)

What state did you most recently live in? Colorado

Why are you choosing to serve as an AmeriCorps member at Common Threads? All people deserve access to healthy food, and have the right to understand where food comes from and what good food can do for their bodies and the environment around them. After studying food systems and community health at the University of Utah, I realized just how little people know about food, and serving with Common Threads means that I can help connect and educate others about healthy food, and continue my learning as well.

Favorite vegetable: Onions

One fun fact about me: I love to scuba dive!

Shyann Young stands in front of the Common Threads logo.
Shyann Young, AmeriCorps Food Educator
(Happy Valley & Lowell)
sHYANN BIO

(she/her)

What state did you most recently live in? Washington

Why are you choosing to serve as an AmeriCorps member at Common Threads? After graduating from WWU with an environmental studies degree, I really wanted to work locally and serve my community, as I find this the best way to make direct and real change! When I found out about Common Threads, I knew my love for food, sustainability and community would be met.

Favorite vegetable: Cabbage, humble and versatile

One fun fact about me: I got into the environmental movement by attending the Climate Reality Corps convention in Los Angeles

 

BOARD MEMBERS: THE SOIL THAT GROUNDS US IN OUR WORK

Board Members:
The soil that grounds us in our work

Chris Casquilho – President
Chris Casquilho BIO

(he/him/his)

Why do you choose to volunteer with Common Threads? What we eat and how we get it quietly dominates so many important spheres of life: health, economy, culture, ecology. Teaching kids how to make thoughtful choices about how and what to eat is a cornerstone of a thriving society. Sharing that knowledge with everyone – not just a few folks – is a game-changer.

Favorite vegetable: Onion

One fun fact about me: I used to perform vaudeville on the “Death Trail”

Casi Herrera – Vice President
Casi Herrera BIO

(she/her/hers)

Why do you choose to volunteer with Common Threads? There are few things more exciting than planting a seed and watching it grow into something beautiful. I had not participated in such an exercise until I was an adult. I love that my own children and the children in my community have the opportunity to plant, grow, and eat from gardens at their own schools. I am grateful that children get to experience this at a young age. 

Favorite vegetable: I cannot think of a vegetable I don’t love. If I had to choose, I would say spinach.

One fun fact about me: My family and I have a small farm in north Bellingham. We have chickens, pigs, cows, a large orchard and garden and a little roadside stand where we share our food with our friends and neighbors.

 
Nolan Davidson – Secretary
Nolan Davidson BIO

(he/him/his)

Why do you choose to volunteer with Common Threads?  Common Threads provides an experience that, as an adult, I looked back and wished I had experienced as a kid. Gardening, growing food, cooking food–cultivating a connection with what we eat–is a crucial skill that too often fails to get conveyed to kids in school (and not everyone has the luxury of learning these things at home). It’s an honor and a pleasure to work for Common Threads.

Favorite vegetable: My favorite vegetable is the source of everything that’s pure and good in the world–chips, french fries, and vodka–the noble, glorious potato.

One fun fact about me: My resume says I’m a licensed tug boat captain.

Gabe Beck
Gabe Beck BIO

(he/him/his)

Why do you choose to volunteer with Common Threads? As a former AmeriCorps member with Common Threads, I’ve seen firsthand how school gardens and cooking programs positively affect students’ relationship with food. From planting tiny seeds, to tossing a rainbow salad, seed to table education brings so much joy into this world. Serving on the board seemed like a great opportunity to continue supporting an organization I believe in.

Favorite vegetable: Onions (fun to grow and essential in so many dishes!)

One fun fact about me: I make ice cream as a hobby and have made over two dozen different flavors at this point. 

Fred Berman
Fred Berman BIO

Why do you choose to volunteer with Common Threads? The most valuable thing about volunteering at Common Threads is the opportunity to interact with the students.  I have been privileged growing up not having to worry about a healthy, well balanced meal, lovingly prepared, at least three times daily.  Once I left my childhood home I learned to prepare my own meals from scratch, using fresh local and seasonal ingredients.  I was fortunate enough to grow much of what our family consumed while farming organically for more than 25 years, followed by a home garden ever since.  I’m passionate about ‘giving back’ to our community, protecting the environment for future generations, and nurturing good nutrition.  What better way than teaching kids to appreciate healthy foods and engage them in growing and preparing same!

Favorite vegetable: Asian eggplant when they’re in season, or carrots

One fun fact about me: I love all self propelled outdoor activities, especially open water swimming.

Gail Knops
Gail Knops BIO

Why do you choose to volunteer with Common Threads?  As a family physician, mom, and for my own life I believe what and how we nourish is important.  Common Threads is that belief in action.   With enthusiasm, knowledge and skill sharing in schools and other key settings, Common Threads practices the growth, preparation and experience of thoughtfully consuming good food.   I love how this enriches children’s and community experience, health and environment in my beloved hometown.   

Favorite vegetable: Carrots.  They are beautiful as is and roast into magical flavor.

One fun fact about me: My childhood heroes were Jane Goodall and “The Flying Nun.”