Heather May – Director, President and Nature Educator
Ms. Heather May is the sole founder and President of Rewild the Child Foundation. She is also a Nature Educator and Director. Ms. May created Rewild the Child Foundation because she is fascinated by nature programming and wants to pass her reverence and knowledge of wildlife and conservation science onto others. Her passion and the mission of this nonprofit is working with underrepresented youth and exposing them to the natural world. By doing so, they will develop a lifelong appreciation of Texas' unique natural heritage and become stewards of nature while also being able to communicate the importance of stewardship to others.
Ms. May graduated from Texas A&M University-Commerce and received her B.S. in Wildlife and Conservation Science, walking 2nd in her department with Magna Cum Laude and High Honors. She conducted a herpetological survey for her undergraduate honors thesis. The entire process (including proposal, research, and thesis) took two years, and she worked independently throughout. She began a literature review, constructed/erected drift fences and traps, collected field data on a daily basis for approximately six months, interpreted this data, and then wrote and defended her thesis. She is also currently working on her M.S. in Tourism Management from Colorado State University.
Ms. May has worked in reptile husbandry, field research and as a High School Science Teacher (the last 7 years). She currently teaches the following subjects in the SOAR program: Biology, Aquatic Science, Environmental Systems and A&P. She loves science. She loves to educate and inspire future scientists. She received a grant for her after school science outreach program. It greatly benefited students by encouraging them to see science as a discipline that encompasses their everyday lives. She received another grant for the supplies needed, in addition to the 3D printer she had already acquired, to build prosthetic hands for kids in the community and start an e-NABLE chapter. She is a SAP (Student Assistance Program) Mentor, a PEP (Pregnancy Education Program) tutor, a member of the SDC (Shared Decision Committee) and the grant writing committee on her campus.
Jonathon M. Barton – Director and Vice President
Mr. Jonathan M. Barton is the Vice President of Rewild the Child Foundation. Since first getting involved in the environmental field, Mr. Barton has been an advocate for introducing people to nature and nature to people. Through his previous work with environmental and foster care non-profits, Mr. Barton has seen the importance of children having a positive and consistent connection with the natural world.
Mr. Barton graduated from Rice University in Houston, Texas with his B.A. in Biological Sciences where he discovered his passion for ecology in his junior and senior years. That passion pushed him to eventually complete his M.S. in Environmental Biology at the University of Houston – Clear Lake with a focus on water quality and wetland ecology. Mr. Barton’s thesis focused on the surface water quality, pollutant sequestration potential, and biotic assemblage of a retention pond slated for conversation into a water treatment wetland.
Mr. Barton now works as a Senior Environmental Scientist and Deputy Project Manager with a major engineering and design firm and has nearly a decade of experience in the field of environmental regulation and consulting. He has performed countless biological and hydrological assessments for energy, transportation, development and restoration projects in the South, Southwest, and Southeast. Mr. Barton has also worked closely with regulatory and governmental agencies such as the USACE, USFWS, EPA, TPWD, TxDOT, and TCEQ and often works directly with public and private stakeholders. Mr. Barton also leads in the authoring of project proposals, budgets, and technical reports in addition to planning and performing field efforts for data collection and site assessments.
Regina Matthews – Director, Secretary and Treasurer
Mrs. Regina Matthews is one of our Directors, our Secretary and also our Treasurer. Mrs. Matthews is a Human Resources Professional and mother of two active boys. She believes children who are active in the environment are healthier, learn how to socialize and appreciate what nature has to offer. Mrs. Matthews is a very industrious member of her community and has volunteered in several community groups, including:
• Secretary - Cub Scout Pack 202
• Assistant Den Leader - Cub Scout Pack 391
• Membership VP - MOMs Club of Chaska/Victoria
• Membership VP - Stiles Middle School PTA
• Board of Directors - Town Center HOA
• Recreation Committee Chair - Town Center HOA
Mrs. Matthews earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of the Incarnate Word. Her background in Human Resources is an invaluable asset to our organization. Mrs. Matthews has extensive experience in the following: recruiting, screening, interviewing and placing workers; employee relations, payroll, benefits, and training; and planning, directing and coordinating the administrative functions of an organization.
Melinda Woods – Nature Educator
Ms. Melinda Woods is one of our Nature Educators. She earned a B.S. in Biochemistry and Biophysics from Oregon State University. While Ms. Woods was a student she worked for Veritas Vineyards and Elk Cove Vineyards and helped with the annual grape crush, bottling and labeling, and direct marketing to the public in the respective tasting rooms. It was during this time that Ms. Woods became involved in home brewing and began judging beer competitions. Upon graduation, Ms. Woods attended the Siebel Institute of Technology and received a certificate of brewing. Ms. Woods spent the next several years working as a professional brewer in Oregon, North Carolina, and Florida.
Ms. Woods left the brewing industry to pursue further education in the sciences. Ms. Woods attended Portland State University and received a M.S. in Geology, focusing on the geochemistry of volcanic rocks. Her thesis entitled Compositional and mineralogical relationships between mafic inclusions and host lavas as key to andesite petrogenesis at Mount Hood Volcano, Oregon, is the product of independent field work, geochemical analysis of rock samples, and geochemical modeling.
Ms. Woods began her career in education while she was a Teaching Assistant at Portland State University and the University of Iowa. Ms. Woods attended the University of Iowa with the hopes of earning a Ph.D. in Geology. She left the University of Iowa to move back to her native Texas to help take care of her elderly parents. It was during this time that she found her true calling as a High School Science Teacher. She teaches Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy, and Integrated Physics & Chemistry in the SOAR program (Alief ISD).