NoVA Outside Leadership

Elenor Hodges chairs the leadership team and as such, focuses on overall coordination for NoVA Outside, organizing board meetings, coordinating quarterly membership gatherings, and writing grant proposals. She has been involved with NoVA Outside since the beginning, helping to found the organization in 2009. Additionally, Elenor works as the executive director of Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment, a community nonprofit promoting sustainable lifestyles. Her previous experience includes environmental consulting with DynCorp, developing the Animal Tracks environmental education program for Wal-Mart, and program management in the education department at National Wildlife Federation. She lives in Arlington with her husband and two daughters. Elenor earned a BA in Environmental Science from the University of Virginia and a MEd in Education from George Mason University.

Debra Lane, PhD, serves on the leadership team and the strategic plan task force. Dr. Lane has been an educator for more than 25 years, as a teacher, principal and Director of Learning in the U.S. and abroad. She was a principal in Fairfax County Public Schools and in China at the Shanghai American School. She taught grades from pre-K through middle school, as well as ESOL, literacy, and gifted and talented classes in Fairfax County Public Schools and in the Dominican Republic. She holds a Ed.D. from the University of Virginia. She has taught undergraduate and graduate classes at George Mason University and the University of Virginia. She has presented at numerous international conferences on adult learning and through her work with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation has grown to love environmental education opportunities for students and teachers. She is currently Director of Talent Development in Alexandria City Schools and is a board member with NOVA Outside and GMU Fall for the Book Festival.

Kurt Moser serves on the advisory committee, leadership team and development committee. Kurt has studied social network analysis and the Network Weaving approach to partnership building, and he infuses this in his work with NoVA Outside. In addition, he co-chairs NoVA Outside’s annual School Environmental Action Showcase, building partnerships to coordinate multi-organization involvement and sponsorship in this signature event.

By day, Kurt is an independent researcher/ecologist and president/co-founder of the Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving the conditions and park lands on lower Four Mile Run. His past experience includes leading professional development and environmental education as a program manager for Earth Force, a national nonprofit focused on youth-driven civic action to improve the environment. Kurt earned a BA in History from Dartmouth College and an MS in Environmental Science and Policy from George Mason University.

 

Nancy Striniste serves on the advisory committee and leadership team where she focuses on programming and outreach for NoVA Outside. She was a founding member of NoVA Outside and served as co-chair of the early childhood committee from 2011- 2014 and co-chair of SAGE (school aged green educators) committee. Additionally, Nancy is the founder of EarlySpace, LLC. She is a landscape designer and former teacher who specializes in creating sustainable natural play and learning spaces for children and teaching teachers about using the outdoors. Her designs are in parks, schools, early childhood programs and residences throughout the mid-Atlantic. She lives under a green roof in Arlington with her husband and two cats. She has two college-aged children who enjoy the outdoors in Texas and Maine.

Elaine Tholen is a co-founder of NoVA Outside. As a member of the leadership team, Elaine helps lead strategic partnership building. She is co-chair of NoVA Outside’s signature School Environmental Action Showcase. She shares her content expertise in environmental education to advise on programming and partnerships.

Professionally, Elaine is the Program Manager, Environmental Stewardship for Fairfax County Public Schools. She runs a district-wide Get2Green program to promote environmental stewardship among the more than 186,000 students and approximately 200 schools the district serves. The district is partnered with Eco Schools USA to promote student driven stewardship and has over 90 registered Eco Schools, twelve of those being Green Flag schools, the highest honor in that program. Another 65 schools are also engaged in stewardship work. Elaine coordinates efforts across all FCPS departments to work toward an overall district view of sustainable schools. She also coordinates the efforts of many outside partners to bring resources and manpower to schools that are engaged in Get2Green activities. She lives in Great Falls with her husband and is the mother of two college-age sons.

Tina Williams serves on the leadership team and communications committee. Tina has worked as a school counselor with Fairfax County Public Schools for 15 years. Eleven of those years have been at Sangster Elementary School. She has been active in the community promoting environmental awareness issues such as healthy foods, energy conservation, and fitness. For four years, Tina has been the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers’ sustainability committee chairperson, working with the union’s national and local offices to advocate and advance sustainability initiatives. Tina holds a B.S. in computer science with a minor in Mathematics from Eastern Michigan University and a M.Ed. as a school counselor from Dallas Baptist University.

NoVA Outside Staff

Ali Culhane graduated from George Mason University in 2014 with a B.A. in Environmental and Sustainability Studies. She currently works as the Program Assistant for Environmental Stewardship in Fairfax County Public Schools, where she supports environmental education efforts and initiatives in a district of nearly 200 schools. Such initiatives include recycling, introducing wildlife habitat, growing food, and conserving energy in schools. Through her work with FCPS and NoVA Outside, she is able to pursue her passion: engaging others in implementing projects that positively impact the planet and its people. In early 2014, she connected with NoVA Outside and began working with the School Environmental Action Showcase (SEAS) team as an event coordinator. She also serves as editor of the NoVA Outside monthly newsletter.