Heather Oakley, Founder & Director
With thirteen years teaching experience and inspired by the success of school garden projects around the country Heather Oakley began Global Gardens. Determined to see students ask their own questions, and inspired by the concepts of peace and hands-on science education, she developed an inquiry-based program to empower students to dream big, work together, and have confidence that they will reap what they sow - that in fact, they are responsible for their future.
Raised in Tulsa, OK, Heather left for France at 18 and gained valuable experience living, learning, and teaching abroad. She has taught in classrooms from Uganda, East Africa to Naples, FL, to Harlem, NY. In New York Heather gained masters degrees in both Urban Science Education and International Development/Peace Education from Columbia University. While working toward her advanced degrees Heather continued as an educator; consulting with elementary school teachers about how to better teach science, teaching at the UN International School, where she saw peace education in action, and in Harlem where she taught 1-6th grade science and piloted two small-scale community garden projects.
Returning to Tulsa in the fall of 2006 Heather used her diverse experience in urban education, botany and community organizing to create a program that would empower high-risk students to become agents of change in their communities.
Heather is a dreamer and a doer. In addition to her love of students, science, nature, and art, she likes to create and is an avid traveler. She likes to take walks with her husband, collect driftwood and rocks, take pictures, knit, and of course, garden.