Meet our staff
Henryk Teraszkiewicz: Executive Director
Henryk Teraszkiewicz has been the Executive Director of WNC since 2004, having been promoted from his four year position as Curriculum Director and Summer Camp Director.Henryk did his undergraduate work in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Natural Resources at Binghamton University, after which he continued his post graduate studies in glacial geology at UCONN, Storrs, while working as a naturalist at Teatown Lake Reservation and Environmental Education Center in Ossining, NY and Director of Nature Studies at Camp Kiwi in Mahopac, NY.Previous to his employment at WNC, Henryk was the Assistant Director of The Nature of Things, an outreach based environmental education program in North Salem, NY.Originally a geologist, Henryk discovered his love for teaching at his first summer camp position, where he also discovered his wife, with whom he now has a family that lives in a 1795 colonial farmhouse, barn, and apple orchard in Newtown, CT.
Since joining WNC, Henryk has had the pleasure of presiding over the organization’s largest growth since its inception in 1972.Compared to the 22 classes that were taught in 1999, the 7000 students who are currently taught speak to the fantastic growth of the environmental education initiative at WNC, an initiative centered on re-introducing children and their families to the nature that surrounds them.A believer in the “No Child Left Inside” movement, Henryk has sought to grow WNC as an area leader in inquiry based, experiential outdoor learning through the Junior Naturalist and Adventure Camp summer programs; school, scout, and public programming;. Having increased and renovated some of the teaching facilities at the Center, Henryk’s next challenge is aimed at furthering recreation and education opportunities at WNC through the creation of the Floating Boardwalk Project, an expansion of the center’s trail system through multiple low impact floating boardwalks.The new system would double the size of WNC’s trails, as well as giving limited access to some of the most interesting environments within the preserve.
Sarah Breznen: Education Coordinator, Summer Camp Director
Sarah Breznen has been with WNC since 2009 after graduating Cum Laude from SUNY Purchase with a degree in Environmental Studies and a minor degree in Fine Arts. Throughout her undergraduate study she was interested in the influence of sciences within the arts, and based her thesis on exploring the importance of fine arts in environmental awareness. Some of her own artwork can be seen as you enter the Nature Center in the wooden “forests” suspended from the ceiling. Before joining WNC, Sarah was active in many research and volunteer programs, both local and abroad. She has studied the invasive Asian shore crab along Long Island Sound, has traveled to Croatia helping to reintroduce the endangered Eurasion Griffon vulture along the Adriatic Sea, and spent time on the northern coast of Scotland researching bottlenose dolphins. At WNC she spends most of her time teaching fieldtrips, outreach programs, after school enrichment classes, and scouting programs.
Jennifer Carpenter: Naturalist, Animal Care Coordinator, Assistant Camp Director
Jennifer Carpenter has been visiting the center since she was five years old. She would come to the center with her father to hike and look for snakes and frogs. Many years later she began volunteering at the WNC as an animal care volunteer. In October of 2013 she was offered a position on staff- and could not have been happier. Jennifer wears many hats at the center including teaching field trips, after school enrichment classes, training volunteers and the coordination of care for all of the centers birds of prey, reptiles and amphibians. In addition, she is also a Certified Canoe Instructor and enjoys exploring ponds, rivers and lakes on her free time. The love she has for nature, animals & educating children has made this a dream come true. Jennifer shares her home with two dogs, Squishy & Meatball, a Blue-Tongued Skink named Charlie, and two African Bull Frogs Chubbs & Jabba!
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