Patty Parks Wasserman, IPEC Founder & CVO

Patty Parks-Wasserman is the ecstatic mother of three gentle-hearted and critically thinking young adults. She is also a permaculture diplomat born and raised in New Mexico, and now lives in Oregon on an educational homesteading farm. She founded the Institute of Permaculture Education for Children and the Anytown Food Forest Project. She has designed and taught permaculture programs to toddlers through the university level in public, private, homeschooling and non formal educational environments since 1998. She has taught middle school science and is working with the Albuquerque Open Space Visitor Center to develop a 1.75 acre public food forest, with the participation of local schools.

Having seen the enthusiasm of the students and the change they inspire in their homes and communities, she believes that children and their educators have the potential to create effective widespread decentralized change for social, economic and ecological health. She is currently the Chief Visionary Officer at IPEC.


Kelly Hogan, IPEC and Mother Earth School Co-Founder

has focused her life's work on care giving in various forms. During her college years studying psychology, she earned her living by caring for adults with severe mental and physical disabilities. She remained in this field for the next 12 years before shifting her focus to the fresh perspective of working with children. She received her Waldorf teaching certificate from the Micha-el Institute in Portland, OR and has been teaching since 2005. She moved to the intentional community at Tryon Life Community Farm with her two children in 2007 where she began to work as the assistant kindergarten teacher for Mother Earth Kindergarten - the first 'recognized' all-outdoor kindergarten in the United States. For the next 7 years, she co-founded and directed Mother Earth School and was the preschool teacher there. It was at the farm where she also became exposed to Permaculture. After receiving her Permaculture Design Certificate in 2009, she realized that Mother Earth School needed to integrate permaculture and wilderness skills with Waldorf teaching methods in order to create an educational movement that serves the needs of children in today's world. She has been pursuing training in Rite of Passage, Jon Young's 8 Shields Mentoring philosophy, and Ancestral Skills; focusing on tracking and bird language as a means of 'reading the stories' of the forest. She is also working with Theater of the Oppressed as a means of exploring social equity and cultural accessibility in private schools. 



Matt Bibeau, MSEd, IPEC CEO & Co-Founder 

Matt serves as one of the core teachers at IPEC. He co-teaches the Foundations and Advanced Teacher Trainings and leads school groups visiting Jean's Farm, IPEC's outdoor classroom with gardens, greenhouse, kitchen and many natural areas. Matt has worked in the field of garden-based education since 2005. A graduate of Portland State University’s Leadership in Ecology, Culture & Learning program, Matt’s work has also focused on the development and implementation of school gardens and garden-based learning programs in Portland Public Schools, as well as the development of three urban farm sites, Jean’s Farm, Learning Gardens Laboratory and Tryon Life Community Farm. Trained in permaculture design by Toby Hemenway (2006) and in permaculture teaching by Tom Ward and Jude Hobbs (2008), Matt has been generating momentum as a permaculture educator, co-coordinating Toby's PDC and co-teaching TLC Farm's PDC from 2009-2011. He serves on the board of the Oregon Sustainable Agriculture Land Trust and is a veteran coordinator of the City Repair Project's Village Building Convergence (2006-2012). Matt co-teaches a PDC with Mark Lakeman, and is currently the farm manager at Jean's Farm and the Chief Executive Officer of IPEC.  

Emily Zionts, MA, IPEC COO & Course Instructor

For the past 15 years, Emily has been deeply immersed in the question of how we can empower our youth to face the crises and opportunities of this unique time in human history with compassion, resilience, innovation, and joy. After earning a MA in Peace Education from The United Nations University for Peace in Costa Rica, Emily worked for several years teaching Peace Studies and Global Issues to teens. She fell in love with the profound transformation that the students would go through as a result of education at the intersection of social justice, environmental sustainability, and human thriving. Since then, Emily has begun a PhD in Sustainability Education through Prescott College and is a graduate of the IPEC Foundations Course. Emily joined the teaching team In 2015 for the Advanced Course and facilitated activities around Joanna Macy’s work on The Great Turning, how to honor our pain for the world within ourselves and with our students, and acknowledging privilege and increasing food justice in the permaculture education movement. She currently serves as the interim Chief Operations Officer.