18 Dec Welcoming our New Executive Director, Adana Protonentis
PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Seattle, WA) – December 18, 2018:
Tiny Trees Preschool, a Seattle-based nonprofit outdoor preschool operated out of public parks across King County, has named Adana Protonentis as their new Executive Director, joining the team on January 7th, 2019.
“Adana is uniquely qualified to lead Tiny Trees, given her experience in delivering outdoor-oriented early learning programs, her sound understanding of the operational needs of running an organization of this scale, and her deep commitment to our values and mission in delivering high-quality, play-based preschool education with an equity lens,” stated Matt Holman, Tiny Trees Board President. “We are absolutely thrilled to have a rising star in early education of Adana’s caliber to take the helm of Tiny Trees as we continue to mature as a leader in the outdoor preschool movement.”
Drawing from her role as the Director of Operations at Seattle Children’s PlayGarden, Adana brings deep passion and experience for building high quality and accessible nature-play opportunities for families. Her experience at the PlayGarden highlights her ability to innovate and expand program outcomes and impact for families, removing barriers for enriching nature-play experiences. She also brings a warm and empowering leadership style that shines in her work with Adana Consulting Group, facilitating customized social equity trainings and workshops. Her career is a testament to her ability to build and nurture lasting relationships with individuals and organizations steeped in meaningful community action.
“Tiny Trees sits at the intersection of my greatest passions: social justice, education, the environment, and (most importantly) kids,” says Adana. “Not only that, but Tiny Trees is bursting with thoughtful, engaged, fun staff and volunteers, all of whom are deeply committed to making high-quality, nature-based preschool a reality for all children. Joining this team is a dream come true! As the mama of two outdoor preschool graduates, I’ve seen firsthand the power of a nature-rich early childhood education. As a mom of color with a child with a disability, I’ve also seen how inaccessible quality preschool can be for families from marginalized communities. I look forward to bringing this perspective, as well as my skills as a nonprofit professional with extensive organizational development experience and my expertise as a social equity consultant and community educator to Tiny Trees as we work to remove barriers to quality preschool for all children.”
Founded in 2014, Tiny Trees Preschool is an all-outdoor preschool operated out of public parks across King County, currently serving more than 300 children in 9 parks, providing scholarships for low-income families through the Seattle Preschool Program – Pathways, and philanthropic revenue. Now in its third year of operation, Tiny Trees has grown rapidly, piloting an innovative new model for delivering high quality outdoor preschool programs at scale, with a focus on equity and accessibility.
As Tiny Trees celebrates early wins and positive outcomes from children and families, Adana will develop the next strategic plan for Tiny Trees this coming spring, bringing her strong commitment to the mission and prior experience with growing organizational capacity and impact. During her time there, the Seattle Children’s PlayGarden saw a 55% budget expansion and the successful launch of a new program that increased community impact by over 1,000%. The board of directors has great confidence in Adana’s ability to build meaningful relationships with new and existing partners in the Puget Sound region.
Mari Offenbecher, Interim CEO, will support Adana as she transitions into her role. “Tiny Trees owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to Mari for the sound operational footing that she has established for Tiny Trees over the past year,” said Matt Holman, “and we are excited to continue our relationship with Mari as an informal advisor as she transitions on to her next endeavor. Mari’s efforts have set the pace and tone for Adana as she comes onboard, and we look forward to supporting her as she continues to shape and grow the organization.”
For more information about Tiny Trees, please visit tinytrees.org.