GOAL Teachers

Jay Lee

jay 2 rounded
  • B.A. from UCSB, Social Studies
  • Bilingual Education teaching credential from UCLA
  • Urban Pioneers Program teacher for nine years
  • GetOutAndLearn teacher, Downtown High School

“Teaching is in my blood. After receiving my BA at UC Santa Barbara, I continued the family tradition at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education, where I earned my teaching credential. After a few years of middle school teaching in Los Angeles, I moved with my young son to San Francisco and was lucky enough to share the McAteer High School campus with my soon to be mentor, Wayne Macdonald, and the Urban Pioneer Program. The best work that I have ever done as a teacher involves allowing students the opportunity to leave the confines of the classroom and experience mental and emotional challenges through outdoor learning activities. I am profoundly fortunate to be part of the exciting experiential education work of the GetOutAndLearn project at Downtown High School. ”

Abigail Ruksznis

  • B.S. in Geology from the University of Vermont
  • M.S. in Geological Sciences from Stanford University
  • Instructor at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS)
  • California State Teaching Credential – Science
  • GetOutAndLearn teacher, Downtown High School

My path to becoming a teacher has been a circuitous one, with detours into the engineering, geoscience, and conservation fields before coming back to my roots as an outdoor educator. During my Master’s research in the desert of Nevada, I saw the impact of experiential education through adventure by pushing physical and mental limits. Students (myself included) became stronger team members, developed leadership skills, and truly came to understand the meaning and importance of hard work. For the past five years, I have worked to take young people on backcountry expeditions to learn what it means to live simply, discover their strengths, and appreciate the natural flow of life found only outside of the boxes with which we constrain ourselves. My desire to share the opportunity to learn through experiences and adventures outside of the classroom is manifested in GOAL’s mission. I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of GOAL!”

GOAL Director

Erin Waddell

  • B.A. in Sociology, UC Davis
  • Master’s in Special Ed., SF State University
  • GetOutAndLearn teacher, DHS for seven years
  • GetOutAndLearn director, Tides Foundation
  • Instructional coach, Downtown High School

“Every child should have the opportunity to learn outside. It’s an issue of equity. Everyone deserves the same access to the beautiful world which exists beyond our front doors.”

GOAL Founder

Ed Rounded

Ed Cavanaugh (1970-2015)

  • B.A. Loyola University
  • Elementary Ed. credential, SF State University
  • Urban Pioneers teacher for two years
  • UP Wilderness staff for eight years
  • GetOutAndLearn director and teacher 2003 – 2015

Ed founded the Downtown High School chapter of GetOutAndLearn in 2003. For many years, he encouraged young people to make healthy choices in their lives through introducing them to various new learning experiences. Always a proponent of growth, Ed was a master at pushing people to expand their comfort zones with education, humor, and some good old fashion love.

“Each one, Teach one.”

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